Degree Type

Thesis (Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS); Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Date Information

May 2016

Department

Childhood Education and Care; Psychology

First Advisor

Joanna Gonsalves

Abstract

This study replicated previous studies that investigated the portrayal of gender in Caldecott award-winning books. Past studies found that females were nearly invisible. Females tended to be under-represented in titles, central roles, and illustrations (Weitzman, Eifler, Hokada, & Ross, 1972). In addition, they appeared in the illustrations to be indoors more often than outside and displayed gender-typical behavioral traits. The current study utilizes the methods and procedures of past researchers to present an updated account of gender-portrayal in the Caldecott winners for 2010 through 2015. A content analysis, and a character trait analysis were performed to analyze the books. The researchers found no significant increases or decreases for human single-gendered illustrations and human characters. However, there was a significant increase in the percent of females for non-human single-gendered illustrations and non-human characters. In addition, females were over-represented outdoors, which is in contrast to past research. Furthermore, only three traits were rated as being more salient for females than males: nurturant, rescue and traditional role. Compared with past studies, children's books are becoming more gender equitable in terms of representation, location and behavior traits. However, improvements can still be made to reflect the actuality of societal proportions.

Available for download on Friday, June 01, 2018

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