ERIC Number: ED419247
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Gender Bias in Children's Picture Books: A Look at Teachers' Choice of Literature.
A study investigated whether some books read by kindergarten teachers to their students represent a higher proportion of female or male characters in text and imagery, and whether there was a higher proportion of female characters or male characters portrayed in stereotypical activities and roles. Subjects were four kindergarten teachers at Gauer School in the Anaheim, California School District. Teachers submitted a list of 10 books that they read every year to their class. Five books were randomly selected from each of the four sets leaving a total of 20 books to be examined for gender bias. Results indicated (1) nearly twice as many of the authors were females rather than males; (2) males outnumbered females in central roles by a margin of 3:1; (3) males slightly outnumbered females in secondary roles; and (4) male images appeared in the books more than twice as often as females. Findings suggest that some of the books used by the kindergarten teachers are gender-biased. Recommendations include: teachers need to be critical in selecting literature for children, avoiding those that have gender stereotypical roles; teachers need to become familiar with criteria for evaluating books for gender bias; universities need to enlighten teachers about the hidden gender biases in children's literature; and the entire school staff needs to provide opportunities for both genders to have the opportunity to participate in roles in school without regard to gender. (Contains eight references; appendixes contain book list data and a checklist for sexism in children's literature.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Exit Project EDEL 570, University of California, Long Beach.