Tough Turtles and Pretty Princesses: A Content Analysis of Gender Representations in Popular Children's Media
The characters in children's television model behaviors and characteristics that have the potential to perpetuate or counter traditional gender stereotypes. This study utilizes a content analysis of the highest rated children's television programs in 2014, including the top programs for both preschoolers (ages 2-5) and school-age children (ages 6-11). The analyses found that male characters, comprising 60.2% of all characters, continue to dominate popular children's television. Results suggest that a larger number of stereotypical female gender roles continue to be perpetuated through these programs than male gender roles, particularly in shows popular among school-age children. The research examines the differences in gender representation by target age of audience, animated and live action programs, networks (Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, PBS), and gender skew of audience. The implications of the findings on the socialization of children and ideas for future research are discussed.
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