ERIC Number: ED168683
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Sexism on Sesame Street: Outdated Concepts in a "Progressive" Program.
Sesame Street programs are perpetuating the subjugated role of females by presenting a picture of male-dominated society while portraying females in roles of following, cleaning, mothering and imitating, and as being of limited intelligence, subservient and passive. Analysis of a randomly chosen Sesame Street program (#189) shows how the series perpetuates the stereotyped, subjugated role of the female. In the program only males do enjoyable or important things. They appear more than twice as often as females and dominate the audio track of the program. Further analysis reveals that males are shown to be interested in and capable of intelligent, intellectual thinking, problem-solving, logical reasoning, and decision-making. Women are portrayed as lacking information, concerned simply with the mechanics of mundane activities (in the kitchen) and not with abstractions. Inspection of dialogue illuminates instances of male competency/dominance and female insufficiency/subordination. Most objectionably, in one scene the female is portrayed as physically more weak than the male to whom she must desperately cling. The male is portrayed as calm, strong and unconcerned with the difficulty of the female while something more important occupies his mind. Concepts such as these are harmful to teach children. Sesame Street success in the non-stereotyped portrayal of minorities must be extended to their portrayals of women. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: KNOW, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA.