An exploration of sex-role stereotyping in Australian award-winning children's picture books

Jodi LY Kok, Bruce Findlay
2006 The Australian Library Journal  
Signed: v Acknowledgments I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Bruce Findlay, for his continued guidance, advice and support throughout this project. I would also like to thank my family, particularly my mother, for being my proof reader and spending many a morning crawling around on the floors of public libraries to hunt out books for me! And thank you to my partner, Owen, for his help with formatting, his patience, and his ability to put up with my bouts of pessimism and anxiety. vi
more » ... ct A content analysis of 25 award-winning Australian picture books was conducted to examine whether the incidence of sex-role stereotyping had decreased in Australian picture books since the mid 1970s. Comparing a sample of books from the mid 70s to a sample from the 00s, three potential areas of stereotyping were assessed: ratios of male to female characters in central roles, titles, illustrations, and as animal characters; activities the main characters were depicted engaging in; and an exploration of the text for traits that main characters exhibited. The hypothesis that in the early sample there would be more male than female characters in all ratio counts, but that no such difference would exist in the current sample was only partially supported. Whilst no statistically significant differences were found, a trend towards equity between the early and recent sample was found in the categories of titles and animal characters. The hypothesis that, in keeping with culturally prescribed stereotypes, male characters would be found to engage in significantly more instrumental-independent activities and masculine traits than females, and that females would engage in significantly more passive-dependent activities than male characters was not supported. Many previous studies had indicated that in terms of activities and traits, male characters were more rigidly stereotyped than female characters. Thus it was hypothesised that female characters would be found to engage in significantly more instrumental-independent activities and masculine traits than male characters would be found to engage in passivedependent activities and feminine traits, but this failed to gain support. It was concluded that, in the current sample, little stereotyping was present, and that areas of disparity had shown a trend towards equality in the current sample. vii
doi:10.1080/00049670.2006.10721857 fatcat:zcp56rknaff2bcqcd5zrkqygge