ERIC Number: ED384937
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-May
A Lab of Her Own?: Portrayals of Female Characters on Children's Educational Science Programs.
Steinke, Jocelyn; Long, Marilee
Television teaches children gender-specific behaviors, attitudes, characteristics, and personality traits. Research indicates that by observing male and female characters on television, children learn to label certain characteristics and behaviors as masculine or feminine and to assign traditional sex-role stereotypes to careers. Content studies of televised portrayals of professional women reveal a long history of under-representing and stereotyping women. A study examined televised portrayals of female characters on five episodes of each of four children's educational science programs ("Mr. Wizard's World,""Beakman's World,""Bill Nye the Science Guy," and "Newton's Apple"). Results indicated that children's educational science programming represented three times as many male as female characters, and twice as many adult male scientists as adult female scientists. Female characters were portrayed as pupils or apprentices, laboratory assistants, science reporters, and expert scientists. However, of the 82 female characters observed, 69 female characters were portrayed in secondary roles as students, laboratory assistants and science writers. Noticeably few adult female characters were portrayed as expert scientists or in positions of high prestige within the scientific community. (Contains 47 references and one table of data.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (45th, Albuquerque, NM, May 25-29, 1995).