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Sex-Role Socialization in Picture Books for Preschool Children

Lenore J. Weitzman, Deborah Eifler, Elizabeth Hokada and Catherine Ross
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 77, No. 6 (May, 1972), pp. 1125-1150
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2776222
Page Count: 26
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Sex-Role Socialization in Picture Books for Preschool Children
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Abstract

An examination of prize-winning picture books reveals that women are greatly underrepresented in the titles, central roles, and illustrations. Where women do appear their characterization reinforces traditional sex-role stereotypes: boys are active while girls are passive; boys lead and rescue others while girlsfollow and serve others. Adult men and women are equally sex stereotyped: men engage in a wide variety of occupations while women are presented only as wives and mothers. The effects of these rigid sex-role portraits on the self image and aspirations of the developing child are discussed.

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