Title

Gender Stereotypes and Representation of Female Characters in Children's Picture Books

Author(s)

Kelly Paynter

Publication Date

January 2011

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

English Language and Literature

Comments

Dr. Prior was a reader on the committee for this dissertation.

Abstract

Studies since the 1970s have found that many female characters are stereotyped and underrepresented in children's picture books. This dissertation updated a study by Hamilton, Anderson, Broaddus, and Young (2006) to examine whether stereotyping and female underrepresentation changed over the past decade. The book sample included 3 Caldecott Medal/Honor books and 48 bestselling picture books published in 2010. The study, a quantitative content analysis, utilized 6 library media specialist book raters and the coding schema of Hamilton et al. (2006). Most measures of stereotypes and underrepresentation improved since the Hamilton et al. study; however, measures that declined significantly included more male than female authors and illustrators, more anthropomorphized male main characters and illustrations, and no female characters in assertive/aggressive characterizations.