Hairdressing in space: Depiction of gender in science books for children

Elizabeth F. Caldwell, Susan Jane Wilbraham
2018 Journal of Science & Popular Culture  
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more » ... title and full bibliographic details of the item are cited clearly when any part of the work is referred to verbally or in the written form • a hyperlink/URL to the original Insight record of that item is included in any citations of the work • the content is not changed in any way • all files required for usage of the item are kept together with the main item file. You may not • sell any part of an item • refer to any part of an item without citation • amend any item or contextualise it in a way that will impugn the creator's reputation • remove or alter the copyright statement on an item. Abstract Stereotypes in the media both reflect and perpetuate the no4on that science is a masculine pursuit. The aim of the current study is to explore whether such stereotypes extend to imagery within children's science books. In order to determine the extent of stereotypes in gender representa4on both quan4ta4ve and qualita4ve analyses were conducted. Results demonstrated that overall females were under--represented in images across the books surveyed. Analyses of images of adults demonstrated under--representa4on of women in both physics and mathema4cs books, but images of children showed no significant difference between genders. Analyses of the target age of the children's books revealed that books targeted at older children contained fewer images of adult females. Qualita4ve visual analyses revealed that books about space explora4on trivialized women's exper4se, diminished their perceived technical competence, failed to acknowledge their contribu4on or presence, and represented them in a manner which suggested that they were passive, lower status, and superficial. Books about science that are currently available to children in libraries are not balanced in terms of their representa4on of gender. Imagery in children's books of women ac4vely par4cipa4ng in scien4fic occupa4ons would help to demonstrate that careers in these areas are meaningful, fulfilling and achievable for women.
doi:10.1386/jspc.1.2.101_1 fatcat:ggrm5tij6fbhxakyz3wgeqzphy