Bachelor of Arts
Humanities and Cultural Studies
Department or Program Chair
Chase Clow, Ph.D.
Robert Bradford, MA
This children's book and accompanying research paper both address gender inequity in children's literature. There is a significant imbalance of gender representation in children's literature, with the number of central male characters almost doubling that of central female characters. Additionally, the roles of males and females still tend to be stereotypical: boys are action-oriented and heroic, while girls are nurturing and passive. Further, it is believed that boys will only enjoy books about boys, while girls will enjoy books about both boys and girls. This imbalance in children's literature hurts both genders. Children not only learn to read from books, but they also learn about the society in which they live, how they are expected to act, and how they should perceive others from them. My research includes studying books and articles about children's literature and the importance of representation in books, as well as reading several children's books for both patterns of gender representation and for inspiration. As a result of my research, I have written a children's book with a female protagonist that includes well-rounded characters that reach beyond stereotypes and that appeal to all children, regardless of gender.
Hanni, Karin, "Mother's Bed: Gender Representation in Children's Literature" (2015). Senior Theses and Capstone Projects. 25.