Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The Presence of Female Characters and Gender Stereotyping in Award-Winning Picture Books Between the 1930s and the 1960s

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The Presence of Female Characters and Gender Stereotyping in... Since the late 1960s, there has been steady, progressive change in the depiction of gender in award-winning picture books for children (e.g., Clark, Almeida, Gurka, & Middleton, 2003). Female characters in Caldecott winners and runners-up have become increasingly visible and gender stereotyping has become decreasingly evident. In this article we consider whether this steady change can be projected back into the decades before the 1960s, or whether local, temporal variation in gender norms affected less monotonic change. We found that Caldecotts of the late 1940s and the late 1960s had fewer visible female characters than Caldecotts of the late 1930s and the late 1950s, but that characters in the 1940s and 1960s were less gender stereotyped than the characters of the 1930s and 1950s. We interpret these findings in terms of the greater level of conflict over gender roles that existed in the 1940s and 1960s, as well as the relatively greater status enjoyed by American women in those decades. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The Presence of Female Characters and Gender Stereotyping in Award-Winning Picture Books Between the 1930s and the 1960s

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1025820404277
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Since the late 1960s, there has been steady, progressive change in the depiction of gender in award-winning picture books for children (e.g., Clark, Almeida, Gurka, & Middleton, 2003). Female characters in Caldecott winners and runners-up have become increasingly visible and gender stereotyping has become decreasingly evident. In this article we consider whether this steady change can be projected back into the decades before the 1960s, or whether local, temporal variation in gender norms affected less monotonic change. We found that Caldecotts of the late 1940s and the late 1960s had fewer visible female characters than Caldecotts of the late 1930s and the late 1950s, but that characters in the 1940s and 1960s were less gender stereotyped than the characters of the 1930s and 1950s. We interpret these findings in terms of the greater level of conflict over gender roles that existed in the 1940s and 1960s, as well as the relatively greater status enjoyed by American women in those decades.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 28, 2004

References

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