ERIC Number: ED171384
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Gender Roles in Children's Stories: Effect on Preference and Comprehension.
Frasher, Ramona; Frasher, James M.
This study investigated children's preference and comprehension responses to stories in which both male and female main characters were represented in traditional and nontraditional roles, and stories in which only the opposite sex main characters were portrayed in those roles. A total of 218 girls and 169 boys from grades five and six (all with at least fourth grade reading ability) read and answered comprehension questions on either two or four stories. They also answered three questions concerning preferences for story, main character, and identification. For subjects who read two stories, comprehension scores were not significantly different for either sex or story type. However, boys who read only stories with female characters preferred the nontraditional main character and selected her for identification. For subjects who read four stories, boys' comprehension scores were higher for stories with male main characters than female main characters. Girls preferred stories with female main characters and preferred the nontraditional male story over the traditional one; boys preferred stories with male main characters and the traditional male story over the nontraditional male story. The results for character preference were similar to those for story preference. Same sex preferences were also found for identification choices, and girls who selected a male main character preferred the nontraditional one. Results and implications are discussed in detail. (Author/SS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 8-12, 1979)