Gender Role Instillment Upon Children Through the Use of Children's Literature

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Title: Gender Role Instillment Upon Children Through the Use of Children's Literature
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Siles, Maria Andrea
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2010
Publication Date: 2010


Subjects / Keywords: Gender
Children's Literature
Social Psychology
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theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: Previous research has established that gender roles and gender stereotypes are prevalent in children's literature. Through the use of children's literature, teachers' roles as potential social influences in gender role instillment on students were examined to understand the possible impact they could have on other domains, like occupational preference and gender item-associations. A sample of 14 children, 4-6 years of age, completed a short questionnaire inquiring about the children's desired future occupation, were read two stories, completed a sticker task indicating their preferred ending out of two choices, and participated in a flashcard task. Additionally, two female participants listened only to the second story and completed the remaining tasks. The results found were suggestive, but inconclusive. Teachers appeared to have influenced preferences for story endings. Short-term influence and gender role instillment, both stereotypical and atypical, were observed.
Statement of Responsibility: by Maria Andrea Siles
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2010
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Graham, Steven

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Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2010 S59
System ID: NCFE004325:00001

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: Gender Role Instillment Upon Children Through the Use of Children's Literature
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Siles, Maria Andrea
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2010
Publication Date: 2010


Subjects / Keywords: Gender
Children's Literature
Social Psychology
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: Previous research has established that gender roles and gender stereotypes are prevalent in children's literature. Through the use of children's literature, teachers' roles as potential social influences in gender role instillment on students were examined to understand the possible impact they could have on other domains, like occupational preference and gender item-associations. A sample of 14 children, 4-6 years of age, completed a short questionnaire inquiring about the children's desired future occupation, were read two stories, completed a sticker task indicating their preferred ending out of two choices, and participated in a flashcard task. Additionally, two female participants listened only to the second story and completed the remaining tasks. The results found were suggestive, but inconclusive. Teachers appeared to have influenced preferences for story endings. Short-term influence and gender role instillment, both stereotypical and atypical, were observed.
Statement of Responsibility: by Maria Andrea Siles
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2010
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Graham, Steven

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2010 S59
System ID: NCFE004325:00001

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GENDER ROLE INSTILLMENT UPON CHILDREN THROUGH THE USE OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE BY MARIA ANDREA SILES A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bache lor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Steven Graham Sarasota, Florida May, 2010


Gender Role ii Acknowledgments Thank you to my sponsor Steven Graham, and the rest of my committee, Michelle Barton and Heidi Harley. The teachers and faculty at Center Montessori School, Professor Wendy Sutherland, Diana Reategui, Sara Stovall, an d all my roommates. A special thanks to all the children who participated in the study, and all the professors and students part of Senior Seminar.


Gender Role iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Number Acknowledgments ii Table of Contents iii Abstract iv Introduction 1 Method 35 Results 40 Discussion 44 Conclusion 50 References 51 Appendices 58


Gender Role iv GENDER ROLE INSTILLMENT UPON CHILDREN THROUGH THE USE OF CHILDRENS LITERATURE Maria And rea Siles New College of Florida ABSTRACT Previous research has established that gender roles and gender stereotypes are prevalent in children's literature. Through the use of children's literature, teachers' roles as potential social influences in gende r role instillment on students were examined to understand the possible impact they could have on other domains, like occupational preference and gender item associations. A sample of 14 children, 4 6 years of age, completed a short questionnaire inquiring about the children's desired future occupation, were read two stories, completed a sticker task indicating their preferred ending out of two choices, and participated in a flashcard task. Additionally, two female participants listened only to the second s tory and completed the remaining tasks. The results found were suggestive, but inconclusive. Teachers appeared to have influenced preferences for story endings. Short term influence and gender role instillment, both stereotypical and atypical, were observe d. ___________________________ Professor Steven Graham Division of Social Sciences


Gender Role 1 Gender Role Instillment Upon Children Through the Use of Children's Literature Gender is considered one of the most influential characteristics individuals possess, influencing identity and the roles people play. Soon after children learn their gender, w hether they are a boy or girl, it becomes a key constituent of their self concept (Parsons, 1983). Theories on gender acquisition posit that gender is learned through environmental influences and a variety of socializing agents. Research on gender roles an d stereotypes has revealed their prevalence in our culture. The present study examined gender roles and gender stereotypes found in children's literature, their possible impact, and the potential role teachers can play in their instillment. To better und erstand the concepts under investigation, a review of both classic and recent theories and research will be presented. A basic assessment of gender, gender roles, and gender stereotypes will transition into a review of classic gender acquirement theories. Then, the different outlets and institutions where gender roles and stereotypes can be found will be discussed. Identification of socializing agents and their potential function in gender role instillment will be analyzed next. After, the possible implicat ions and effects of gender roles and stereotypes will be examined. Finally, research on gender roles and gender stereotypes in children's literature will be presented. What is Gender? Gender and gender roles have been explored through the ages as social p henomena. Though the terms sex and gender are often used interchangeably, their meanings are in fact different. Sex refers to the biological features of masculinity and femininity. Gender refers to the masculine and feminine characteristics constructed and assigned by society and culture (Best, 2000). Sex is the product of nature, gender is the


Gender Role 2 product of culture. Gender and sex tend to be treated as categorical variables. Many believe that biological and qualitative differences between men and women lie on a continuum rather than specific and separate categories. Biologically, every individual is said to possess a different amount of testosterone and estrogen. Men are typically at the higher end of the continuum for testosterone, while women are found at th e lower end. Still, some women can be found in the middle of this continuum, possessing less testosterone than the average male but more than the average female (Basow, 1992; Best, 2000). The categorization of gender and sex as two separate dichotomies la bels biological and sociocultural differences between the terms. That is, the separation of these terms as different categories highlight s the biological and social components said to make sex and gender different from one another. Gender is constructed by people and molded through psychological, cultural, and historical processes (Basow, 1992). Everyday social interactions help construct gender, and repetition of this notion of gender through these interactions help reinforce it. People, in essence, are "do ing gender" (West & Zimmerman, 1991); differences between men and women that are neither innate nor essential are being constructed, and reinforce this concept of gender. Gender can be found having some function in almost every culture and society. Consid erable interest on this topic throughout the last half a century has led to the analysis and research of gender, the roles attached to it, stereotypes associated with it, and their instillment (Albert & Porter, 1988; Garret, Ein, & Tremaine, 1977; Martin & Little, 1990; Picariello, Greenberg, & Pillemer, 1990; Raag, 1990; Stoddart & Tuniel, 1985; Stroeher, 1994). Gender roles and stereotypes can be found in a variety of different


Gender Role 3 outlets and institutions. Media outlets, and institutions of both the private and public sphere (workplace and school) are just a few of the places they can be found. Theories posit that when children become old enough to learn and understand their biological sex, gender becomes a major part of their identity. Therefore, the contin uing study of gender roles and gender stereotypes is crucial to understanding our instillment of such and their impact on society. What are Gender Roles? What are Stereotypes? Gender roles are expectations created by society for feminine and masculine beh avior (Basow, 1992; Richard Abbott, 1992). These roles are created and sustained by the institutions and values of that society. For example, bearing children is a female's sex role, but raising them is a gender role. When describing individuals, naming th eir biological sex does not suffice. It is the roles they play whether that person is a mother, married, a lawyer, or a bachelor that help piece the puzzle together. In other words, it is a person's gender roles, expectations of what is feminine and mascul ine, that help complete the description of a man or woman (Richard Abbott, 1992). Phrases like, "She is married and has three children," or, "He is a doctor," help complete descriptions and assertions of who people are. Like biological differences betwee n men and women, male and female gender roles are often seen as opposites. If a man is viewed as independent, then a women must be dependent. Contrary to popular belief, male and female traits are not opposites. Instead, they too lie on a continuum. Men an d women can posses the same traits, the only difference being the degree of variation (Richard Abbott, 1992). Gender roles are usually composed of a number of traits: (a) expectations of


Gender Role 4 personality traits (e.g., women are nurturing), (b) social roles (e. g., women are mothers and wives); and (c) social positions or occupations (e.g., men are doctors and women are nurses) (Richard Abbott, 1992). These traits are culturally dependent and vary cross culturally. Culture has a deep impact on behavior. In Wester n cultures, occupations like engineering and medicine have been typically associated with men because they are thought to be more rational and systematic than women (Richard Abbott, 1992). In comparison, most engineers in China and most doctors in Russia a re women (Richard Abbott, 1992). Though changes in occupational trends are being witnessed in gender dominated fields, these stereotypes continue to be noticed. Gender stereotypes or sex role stereotypes refer to characteristics assigned to men and women. Gender stereotypes exist in personal and cultural forms (Basow, 1992). According to Basow (1992), "Stereotypes are strongly held overgeneralizations about people in some designated social category. Such beliefs tend to be universally shared within a given society and are learned as part of the process of growing up in that society" (p. 3). These overgeneralizations can quickly become fixed ideas or representations of a certain group. Much like Piaget's idea that people (children, specifically) are active ag ents in their construction of knowledge from one's environment, stereotypes are acquired, constructed, and learned from one's surroundings. Once again the idea that men and women are more alike than different is suggested. Men and women do not possess tr aits that belong uniquely to that gender; there are individuals of the opposite gender that may posses those same characteristics to some extent. Carol Martin (1987) conducted a study in which 139 college students participated in a poll composed of 32 gend er typed traits. One of the traits listed was


Gender Role 5 "loves children," expected to be primarily a female trait. Martin discovered that there was only a slight difference between men and women in their answers. They only differed on 5 items and agreed to the other 27 sex typed traits, one of them being "loves children" (in Basow, 1992). These findings support the gender similarities hypothesis, which asserts that men and women are more alike than dissimilar in psychological variables. Evidence, like Martin's (1987 ) study, validate the idea that it is in fact societal and cultural standards, not biological and qualitative differences between men and women, that create the structure of gender witnessed. Risman (2004) believed this "gender structure" we witness can re sult in serious repercussions. The gender structure differentiates opportunities and constraints based on sex category and thus has consequences on three dimensions: (1) At the individual level, for the development of gendered selves; (2) during intera ction as men and women face different cultural expectations even when they fill the identical structural positions; and (3) in institutional domains where explicit regulations regarding resource distribution and material goods are gender specific (Risma n, 2003, p. 433). Thus, it is crucial that gender, gender roles, and gender stereotypes continue to be examined and identified so these barriers could be eliminated. Theories on Gender How is gender learned and acquired? Theories on how gender emerges an d is assimilated differ in their approaches to development. However, they all state in some form that children are the product of their environments.


Gender Role 6 Social Learning Theory Bandura and Walters (1963), and Mischel (1966, 1970) emphasized the role of model ing and expectations for the different genders. Children learn gender through direct and indirect influences: directly through differential treatment between boys and girls and reward and punishment, and indirectly through observation and modeling. Childre n are rewarded for engaging in or performing gender appropriate behaviors. Evidence suggests that differential treatment begins at birth. Gender stereotypes are learned through observation and modeling, from parent to child, and child to child. The child p lays a passive role in the process. Evidence of social learning theory is abundant. Studies like Raag's (1999) study on situational constraints further support such theory. Here, children were shown a set of toys, thought to be gender stereotypical (a toy dish set and a toy tool set), before testing began. Some of the children were then told gender stereotyped information about the toys previously shown. Some were told gender stereotyped information about items not related to the toys (e.g., pink shorts ar e for girls), and some received no information. The children were asked what set of toys best described boys, girls, or both. They were asked if they liked the toys, and which set they liked best. Most children thought both sets of toys were for both girls and boys. They were then asked if certain figure in their lives (e.g., mom, dad, siblings, etc.) thought cross gender play was "bad." Children that stated they had such influences were analyzed separately from those who had no sources that thought of cros s gender negatively. Participants who reported having no social figures rating cross gender play as "bad" were not affected by gender stereotyped information. However, gender stereotyped


Gender Role 7 information did have a noticeable effect on children who reported ha ving sources who negatively rated cross gender play. Children who reported having these sources played with gender stereotypical toys much longer than with cross gender toys. This study demonstrates the importance of attitudes and expectations. Raag's (19 99) study on situational constraints on children's toy preferences supports the idea of social learning. It demonstrated children's behavior can be noticeably affected and altered if believed to disagree with a gender model or source (like a parent or sibl ing). Cognitive Developmental Theory Using Piaget's concept of constructivism, that children learn from their experiences and construct their realities from this, Kolhberg (1966) developed his theory for gender construction. Here, the child is an active agent in the construction of its gender. Once a child develops gender constancy, the belief that gender is permanent and unchangeable arises and the child feels compelled to gather information about what is appropriate and what is not for that gender. Chil dren begin to value same sex behaviors and dismiss those belonging to the opposite sex. This occurs through behavioral observation of others. Children experience three stages of gender development consisting of gender labeling and identity (2 years of ag e), gender stability (3 years of age), and gender constancy (4 5 years of age), though every child differs in their progress of each individual stage. Gender labeling: From birth to about 2 years of age, a child labels and differentiates between g enders through external cues, and differences displayed in behaviors and roles. So behaviors like who cooks and who fixes the fence help the child build concepts and labels about what a man and woman are.


Gender Role 8 Gender stability: Here, the child begins to label himself or herself as a member of a particular gender. Yet, this understanding of gender is consistent on physical or external cues. If a man were to wear women's clothing, a child in this cognitive developmental stage would not understand that this person 's gender remains as male, and can easily conclude this person had changed his sex (from male to female). Gender constancy: Gender is now understood to be constant across time and context. Gender constancy is achieved around the same time object constancy is. Gender Schema Theory Gender Schema Theory (Bem, 1981; Martin & Halverson, 1981) incorporates environmental and cognitive factors, as well as cultural. Here, the child processes gender relevant information and organizes it according to cultural standa rds and norms on gender, resulting in a gender schema. Bem's (1981) Gender Schema Theory supposes that children operate based on schemas they have constructed about gender. Gender schemas help children filter new gender related information. The information the child finds relevant and decides to pay attention to, how this information is encoded, and how it is later retrieved depends on the child's gender related schema. Martin and Halverson (1981) also used gender schemas to explain gender development in children. They proposed the idea that schemas are created in order to help organize incoming information which is then selected to be remembered in order to assign relevancy to it. Their theory states that the schematic knowledge a child possesses of gende r influences that child's behavior and gender typed preferences. For example, if a girl is given a doll, she will identify with it, apply this self relevant knowledge to the idea that dolls are toys for girls, and since she is a girl then that must be the toy she


Gender Role 9 should play with. The girl will create a schema: girls play with dolls. This little girl will rememb er all the occasions she has witnessed this occur and label these instances as relevant. When the little girl is given a toy car to play with, she will not find it self relevant and therefore conclude that this must be a toy meant for boys. Even though all of these theories differ in their perception of how gender is developed and adopted, they all include the involvement of social and environme ntal influences. In essence, most of these theories propose, in one way or another, that adults introduce their beliefs about gender roles for adults by instilling gender roles meant for children upon children. Media Outlets This section will briefly rev iew some of the visual and print media outlets gender roles and gender stereotypes can be found in. Though the sources mentioned are not all directly associated with children, they are a prevalent part of our culture and play a critical role in it. Telev ision In 1989, Nielsen Media Research estimated children spend one third of their time at home and sleeping, another third in school, and a final third in front of a television set (Basow, 1992). On average, children begin watching television at the age o f 3 (Richmond Abbott, 1992). Whether it be daytime, prime time, or children's shows, gender stereotypes can be found in almost anything shown on television. Male characters outnumber and overshadow female characters found in children's shows. Twice as many male characters were found in children's television. Male characters are shown as active,


Gender Role 10 constructive, display aggression, and are usually rewarded for their actions (Basow, 1992). Females are passive characters, and are often overlooked. Soap operas a ired mainly during daytime hours reinforce stereotypes by portraying women in stereotypic and traditional female roles. The women on these shows are often helpless, continuously needing a man to come to their rescue. Even commercials consistently present s tereotypes. Women are usually portrayed in the home as a mother and/or wife. If a woman is shown outside the domestic realm and in the workplace, many times the occupation she is portrayed in is typically a female one, while men tend to be shown participat ing in high powered occupations. Magazines Magazines are abundant in gender stereotypes. The male and female audience for magazines is widely divided, with magazines like Playboy aimed to satisfy men's sexual urges, and Self aimed to provide women with h ealth, and weight suggestions to achieve a certain standard of beauty (Richard Abbott, 1992). The women shown in magazines are for the most part White, very young, and very thin. This creates a certain unrealistic standard of beauty for the female audience reading these magazines (Basow, 1992; Richard Abbott, 1992). The Workplace With the sudden wave of technology developed during the 1950s and 60s, the job market (primarily dominated by white collar male workers) began to open its doors to women. Even a fter half a century, there is still inequality in employment (Acker, 1991; Basow, 1992; Crompton, 2007; Gutek & Nakamura, 1983; McCormick, 1983; Richard Abbott, 1992; Schneider, 2004). Women are often limited in their career choices since


Gender Role 11 most women, even in this modern age, are primary caretakers (Allgeier, 1983; Richard Abbott, 1992). Consequently, they are often faced with an ultimatum between career and family a choice most men are not faced with. This double standard is quite ordinary, even in this day and age. Nowadays, the majority of women are employed in paid work. Yet, the wage disparity between men and women is apparent (Basow, 1992; Crompton, 2007; Richard Abbott, 1992). It has been estimated that women in the United States lose an average of 5 to 7 cents of pay for every child they have (Waldfogel, 1997; Budig & England, 2001 in Crompton, 2007). This has been referred to as the, "...wage penalty for moth erhood" (Crompton, 2007, p. 229 ). The income gap between "female" jobs, like nursing and te aching, and jobs customarily occupied by men is another example of occupational disparity (Crompton, 2007). Introducing women to fields previously dominated by men can cause problems. Sexual harassment is a common result of this. As women begin to take pa rt of occupations previously all male, men may feel threatened. A response to the threat can be harassment (Gutek & Nakamura, 1983). These gender barriers can cause women to fail to rise in the professional hierarchies in their occupational fields. School School has been labeled one of the most influential social contexts children experience School is often the first social system children are introduced to after the family (Buchanan Barrow, 2005). As a result, this institution has a great impact in the w ay children are socialized. School is a social institution that has been speculated to reinforce gender stereotypes (C. Naffziger & K. Naffziger, 1974). Teachers, classes, and


Gender Role 12 the material being taught are evidence. In many schools, classes like Physical Education, Home Economics, and Wood Working or "Shop" still serve to segregate gender (Basow, 1992; C. Naffziger & K. Naffziger, 1974). In 1972, it was revealed that males outnumbered females on a three to one ratio in story books, and even more so in bio graphies (Women in Words and Images in Basow, 1992). In course material, women are rarely found in school text books. Female historical figures or their contributions are seldom mentioned (Weitzman & Rizzo, 1974 in Basow, 1992). Women are rarely mentioned as government leaders, important scientists, or influential historical figures. As the grade level increases, the mentioning of women in the grade level texts decreases. While the great majority of elementary school teachers are female, most principals a re men (Richmond Abbott, 1992). The noticeable difference in occupational status can be observed by children. This disparity in status can contribute to the formation of stereotypes and gender roles by children in the school environment. Teachers Teacher s are powerful social influences. They are the sole authority figure in the classroom, and have the closest contact with children within this social system. Teachers' authoritative status and the large amount of time spent with classroom children places th em as critical socializing agents and influential figures. "From the time a child starts school...teachers provide additional messages regarding sex role development through provision of activities, reinforcement, modeling, and subtler forms of communicati on" (Basow, 1992, p. 135). Though teachers may convey messages and beliefs contradictory to parental ideologies, their authority can be so significant that it exceeds parental


Gender Role 13 influence (Basow, 1992). Research has shown students retain more information w hen their teachers hold similar attitudes about the subjects being taught (Dilendik, 1975). Studies such as Dilendik's (1975) reveal that there is in fact a relationship between teacher student attitudinal similarities and students' cognitive retention. Th is emphasizes the large impact teachers can have upon students. It has been shown that teachers' gender role and stereotype beliefs and attitudes can result in differential treatment of students (Cahill & Adams, 1997; Chasen, 1974; Tattar & Emmanuel, 200 1). Teachers have been shown to direct more attention towards male students, from preschool to college (Basow, 1992). Typically, males are characterized as being independent, assertive, aggressive, and dominant. Females are usually depicted as dependent, d ocile, submissive, neat, receptive, and conforming (Chasen, 1974; Kedar Voivodas, 1983). These gender roles play a large function in the portrayal of the student and the subsequent treatment of children. The roles the child enacts assertive boy, shy girl, troublemaker, etc. will determine the way the child is treated by the teacher. Though children are encouraged by teachers to be more independent and extroverted, it is these same behaviors that are reprimanded. Teachers tend to focus on acting out behavio rs since these directly interfere with the functioning of the classroom (e.g., distracts class, interferes with authority) (Kedar Voivodas, 1983). Even though boys enact these behaviors more frequently, they are usually ignored or overlooked. For example, if a boy calls out an answer in class without raising his hand, the teacher would most likely still accept his answer. But if a girl were to call out an answer, she would


Gender Role 14 probably be reprimanded (Sadker & Sadker, 1985, 1986 in Basow, 1992). Boys are also more likely to get into disciplinary trouble and be disapproved of by their teachers. "Acting out" behaviors may be disregarded more often if enacted by a boy, but they remain behaviors that must be penalized. Consequently, boys are scolded more often. Ho wever, Bardwick (1971) viewed teacher scolding and critique as a helpful agent in achieving independence (in Richmond Abbott, 1992). She believed that boys have learned they could capture teachers' attention through disruptive behavior. Teachers in turn cr iticize the students for this behavior. As a result of continual criticism, boys learn to take criticism better and affirm themselves. This is thought to lead boys to become more autonomous. Children's Books Reading is believed to serve as an introductio n to society, helping children learn the culture's ideologies, beliefs, and values; it is a socializing agent through which a culture's components are passed on from one generation to the following (Taylor, 2003). If this is in fact true, what are children learning in story books and children's literature? While stereotypic trends in character portrayal have begun to change, gender roles and stereotypes still appear in abundance in children's literature. Male characters outnumber female characters and are portrayed in a diverse number of roles, while females are depicted as passive and usually in the domestic realm (Brugeilles, C. Cromer, I. Cromer & Andreyev, 2002; Kolbe & La Voie, 1981; Hillman, 1974; Richard Abbott, 2005; Taylor, 2005). "Girls not only a re ignored but are depicted as passive, fearful, vain, and unable to make friends" (Richmond Abbott, 1992, p. 105). Male characters are not only featured more often, they are also depicted in a more


Gender Role 15 positive light than female characters. Female characters that appear to be empowered or in any way independent are usually portrayed as villains (Belle, 1995; Christensen, 2000; Giroux, 1997, 1999 in Wohlwend, 2009). Male gender stereotypes can also be found in children's literature. Although the male character is usually the central figure, he bears the burden of male stereotypes as well. Though he may be active and adventurous, the male character must swallow his emotions in the attempt to be a man. Often the sole provider for his family, great responsibility is assigned to him. But no matter what ails him, he must not express his emotions (C. Naffziger & K. Naffziger, 1974). Hillman's (1974) study showed little change in female character portrayal in children's literature from the 1930s all the way to the 197 0s. A detailed character analysis of male and female characters found in popular children's books from the 1930s and the 1960s and 70s revealed there was a significantly greater number of male characters than female characters in both the early and recent time periods. The data also revealed males had greater occupational diversity than females for both time periods. Though more females were portrayed in more occupational roles in the recent time period than the 1930s, there was only a small increment in nu mbers and was not significant. Though male associated behaviors remained constant between time periods, a change was observed in female associated behaviors and emotion. Females in the recent time period were portrayed expressing more anger and curiosity ( male associated behaviors), and less affiliation/dependence, excitement/anticipation, nurturance, and surprise (all typically female behaviors). Kolbe and La Voie (1981) conducted a similar study. It was a replication of


Gender Role 16 Weitzman's et al. (1972) analysis of gender stereotypes in children's literature. The author's sex, the sex of the main characters in the story and title, the sex of the characters on the front and back covers of the book, the role portrayed by each character mentioned, the number of male and female characters in each book, and the portrayal of at least one female character in every book was recorded. The books' characters were coded for the following: Expressive/ instrumental, significant/insignificant, and stereotyped/ nonstereotyped. The analysis revealed female representation had shifted in this study in comparison to the Weitzman et al. (1972) study. The ratio of male to female characters in pictures, the names in the book titles, and female characters' presence in the stories had incre ased. The sample of books used in Weitzman et al. did not portray a single woman working outside the home. Interestingly, this did not change. Though Kolbe and La Voie's (1981) study was conducted eight years after Weitzman's (1972), no woman in the books examined was presented working outside the home. Overall, female roles were depicted as expressive, insignificant, and stereotyped. Though the male characters were depicted as significant and instrumental, their roles remained stereotyped as well. Little light is shed on female characters. Making rare appearances, women appear bound to the domestic realm, hardly ever being portrayed outside the home. Brugeilles, C. Cromer, I. Cromer, and Andreyev (2002) confirmed little has changed since the 80s in gender stereotypical character portrayal in children's literature. Here, three types of characters were analyzed: (a) humans, (b) anthropomorphic animals fulfilling human roles, and (c) real animals with no human projection as characters. More than one third of the books analyzed had a single male character mentioned in or as the book's title. Multiple characters mentioned in the title were for the greater part male, and barely ever


Gender Role 17 female. L ess than three quarters of the books examined in this study presented on e or more female characters. Girls were found in less than half of the books boys were included in. Male characters were the more prevalent gender found across all character displays. Though female characters made rare appearances, the mother role appeared to be the predominant female role in stories. Female characters appear restricted to just a few occupations, such as teaching and child rearing (stereotypical female occupations). When the authors compared the array of activities either gender was engaged in, they discovered household chores and maternal activities were the primary activities female characters participated in, while male characters took part in adventures. Whitney Darrow, Sr.'s book I'm Glad I'm a Boy; I'm Glad I'm a Girl reinforces these stereotypical gender roles. In the book, Darrow (1970) states that, "boys fix things and girls need things fixed" (in Richard Abbott, 1992, p. 105). He continues by stating boys are the ones that build homes, but girls are the ones responsible for keeping them. The constant repetition of gender roles and gender stereotypes, as subtle as they may be, can have an impact over a lifetime of exposure. As Bruigelles, Cromer, Cromer, and Andreyev (2002) stated: Everything contributes subtly and by little success ive strokes to ensure the transmission and reproduction of sexually differentiated and hierarchical roles. There are no tight boundaries between the sexes and no reserved areas, and just a few stereotypes (little girls like to eat sweets or dress up, bo ys are naughty), but all these small differences add up, and masculine and feminine roles become more precisely defined and more firmly set in the progression from childhood to adult age (p. 263).


Gender Role 18 Implications and Effects of Gender Roles and Stereotype s Gender roles and gender stereotypes can take effect in a variety of ways. They can blur our perceptual filters (Bodenhausen, 1988; Stangor, 1988 in Basow, 1992), become self fulfilling prophecies, and affect impression management (behavior used to atta in social acceptability) (Basow, 1992). It has been suggested that labels and expectations attached to stereotypes may trigger emotion, affecting evaluation without additional thought or analysis (Schneider, 2004). Stereotypes are self fulfilling prophecie s. If a certain behavior is expected, be it situational or stereotypical, a behavior could be easily judged to fit the expectation. This may also cause some behaviors to be paid attention to and others simply ignored. For example, women are stereotyped as unskilled in mechanical chores. Consequently, a man may focus on how slow a woman works when repairing a car and ignores the quality of work being performed, which may very well be superior to that of a man performing the task at a hurried pace (Schneider, 2004). Division of labor amongst men and women is one of the most evident implications of gender roles and gender stereotypes. Most modern families in the United States are composed of two working spouses. However, women still perform about 70% of househ old work (Richard Abbott, 1992). The hours spent at work and the income made by the female spouse appear to have no effect on the division of labor between spouses (Huber & Spitze, 1983 in Richard Abbott, 1992). Though men and women tend to spend the same amount of hours at the workplace, women are still primarily responsible for childcare and household labor. Weisner and Gallimore (1977) discovered after analyzing 186 societies that females are typically the primary care takers, whether it be the mother, an older female


Gender Role 19 relative, or a child (Best, 2000). In a cross cultural analysis it was found that women participated in labor and activities that were consistent with child rearing (Brown, 1970; Segal, 1983 in Best, 2000). Historically, the primary role o f a woman has been child rearing. Therefore, most activities women were able to participate in had to correlate with child care. Domestic chores, like cooking and cleaning, allowed women to remain close to home where they could care for children (Parkin, 2 006). Though time has elapsed and cultural norms have changed, the inequitable division of labor between men and women has remained. The differential treatment of boys and girls is believed to be one of the consequences of gender roles and stereotypes. Di fferential treatment of children has been said to occur starting at birth (Tieger, 1980 in Albert & Porter, 1988). The first words uttered about a child are often whether the baby is a boy or a girl. These gender labels have been proven to have an almost i mmediate effect on how the child is characterized. First time parents described their newborns as already possessing gender stereotyped traits (e.g., boys were strong, girls were finer) after only 24 hours from the children's birth (J. Z. Rubin, Provenzano & Luria, 1974 in Basow, 1992). Studies in which the participants do not know the sex of a baby, also known as "baby X" studies, have revealed that adults treat an infant differently when they believe the child to be a boy than when they believe it is a girl (Best, 2000). Condry and Condry (1976) revealed people's natural tendency to apply gender stereotypes. Participants were shown a videotape of a 9 month old infant being shown different toys and were asked to rate the infant's reaction to the stimuli. Half of the participants were told the infant was a boy, and the other half were told it was a girl. Participants told the infants was a boy


Gender Role 20 tended to rate its reaction as male stereotyped emotion. The same occurred for participants told the infant was a g irl. This group rated the child's reaction as being female stereotyped emotion. Parents are a quintessential component of a child's life. Therefore, as important socializing agents, parents have a tremendous influence on their children. Research related t o parental support in mathematics, a male associated field, has revealed differential treatment of children as a result of gender (Basow, 1992; Chasen, 1974; Fuller, 1999; Tieddemann, 200). Boys tend to be encouraged to succeed in these fields, and receive generous support from parents. Unfortunately, many girls are not encouraged to succeed in these fields since they are usually men's areas of expertise (Yee & Eccles, 1998 in Basow, 1992). Discouragement comes from many parents, making this an unfortunate circumstance since parental expectations have been proven to be strong predictors for their children's achievements (Eccles, 1988; J. Sherman, 1983 in Basow, 1992). Visual spatial abilities are a great example of the impact differential treatment could hav e. On average boys and girls tend to posses equal visual spatial abilities until the age of 8. After this age, men excel in these abilities in most cultures and through different social classes (Becker & Hedges, 1976 in Basow, 1992). Yet, in cultures where females are encouraged to be independent and autonomous (e.g., Canadian Eskimos), no differences in visual spatial abilities were found between genders (Berry, 1966; MacArthur, 1967 in Basow, 1992). Double standards appear to be another result of gender roles and stereotypes. Double standards exist for both men and women. From preschool classrooms all the way to the workplace, double standards can be seen. Boys, more often than girls, are central


Gender Role 21 targets of double standards. Boys that partake in unconvent ional gender roles are often labeled as homosexuals or psychologically unbalanced, while girls who appear tomboyish are less often criticized (Green, 1974 in Cahill & Adams, 1997; Martin, 1990 in Schneider, 2004). Females who engage in nontraditional gende r roles are accepted by others and society more readily than men who in engaged in nontraditional gender roles (Schneider, 2004). This standard is reversed when it comes to occupations. Here, women appear to be affected more by double standards. Unlike wo rking men, career women frequently encounter major conflict, having to chose between their jobs or their families. The dual burden theory suggests that women will always encounter conflicts and barriers in whatever careers and occupations they have as a re sult of family duty and responsibility, making it difficult to achieve and enjoy the same benefits as men. Women's careers are often interrupted by motherhood and child rearing, especially when many employers express reluctance in granting maternity leaves and days off to allow mothers to care for their sick children. This could prevent women from working overtime, and having them decline work related travel as a result of being primary caretakers. Less free time to work and engage i n their occupations often are cause for fewer promotion opportunities. However, these double standards have been shown, in many cases, to be dependent upon the context they are found in. In other words, the situation is responsible for the evaluation. Men and women who particip ate in occupations typically perceived to belong to the opposite gender are at times viewed as more competent in that field. Female attorneys have been perceived to be more competent than their male colleagues, seemingly because they had to overcome gender barriers to attain that position


Gender Role 22 (Abramson, Goldberg, Greenberg, & Abrasom, 1978 in Schneider, 2004). Women in perceived male occupations must demonstrate agentic traits to prove competence in their field. Females have been stereotyped as lacking agency, and are therefore deemed unqualified for certain occupations. However, when women exert agentic behavior, they are often perceived negatively. If a woman is perceived to be agentic, she is thought to have low interpersonal skills and often feel a backlash when applying for jobs that are in need of someone like them (Rudman & Glick, 1999, 2001 in Schneider, 2004). On average, women smile more than men. A woman who smiles less in the workplace is labeled as being unhappy (Schneider, 2004). Women are stere otyped as being submissive and lacking agency, but when agentic traits are exhibited, they are depicted in a negative light. If they display agency and are confident, they are perceived negatively and are thought to have poor interpersonal skills. If women smile less than men in the workplace, they are unhappier than their male coworkers (Deutsch, Lebaron, & Fryer, 1987 in Schneider 2004). These contextual perceptions are additional proof of the effects and repercussions of stereotypes. Research On Gender R oles and Stereotypes and Children In recent years, research on gender roles and stereotypes has revealed children are very aware of them, and are susceptible to them as well. From toy choices, to color preference, all the way to the clothes people wear, gender stereotypes are salient in children. Children use their knowledge of gender stereotypes and apply them to these concepts to form a notion of what feminine and masculine mean. When do these gender stereotypes become salient? Martin and Little (1990 ) revealed that children displaying gender stability and consistency possessed gender


Gender Role 23 stereotype knowledge and same sex preferences. They examined how different basic and advanced gender understandings relate to children's sex type preferences and stereoty pe knowledge. Participants completed a gender concept measure, consisting of a gender discrimination and group membership task, and a knowledge and preference task. Gender labeling, stability, and consistency were also tested. For the toy and peer preferen ce tasks, children preferred same sex rather than opposite sex choices. For gender labeling and clothing knowledge, all questions were answered correctly. Seven out of the eight questions for gender discrimination and toy knowledge were answered correctly. In an attempt to understand how basic and complex gender stereotype knowledge appears to be in children, Martin, Wood, and Little (1990) investigated young (ages 4 5) and older children's (6, 8, and 10 years of age) knowledge of them. Here, Deaux and Le wis's (1994) component model for gender related associations was used. This model accounts for more complex forms of stereotypes. In this model, gender stereotypes are considered a set of associations that exist between gender labels, like "man" and "woman ," and gender related beliefs attached to specific contents. Beliefs, in Deaux and Lewis's model, are composed of four different content areas with a version corresponding to each gender. These areas include: role behavior, occupations, traits, and physica l appearance. Though this model was initially created to describe and explain adult stereotypes, it was used to account for children's. There are three types of associations that link information within gender stereotypes. The first is associations made about gender labels in each component. This means that certain predictions like a person's occupation, characteristics, behavior, and appearance can be made based entirely on their gender (Ashmore & Del Boca, 1979;


Gender Role 24 Deaux & Lewis, 1994 in Martin, Wood, & L ittle, 1990). Associations within the actual components is the second type. This means that certain conclusions about a person within a specific component can be made based on information pertaining that component. These predictions derive from previously established notions of gender, specifically feminine and masculine notions. Lastly, association between components can be made. Assumptions about a person in one content area can be made based on information about that same person in a different content ar ea. However, these assumptions may not always be right. In their first study Martin, Wood, and Little (1990) investigated whether children were capable of making gender stereotypic predictions about a person with no knowledge of the person's gender. Young children, ages 4 5, were asked to describe how much they thought other children liked certain toys. Children were asked to make predictions about the target child's toy preference when told the target child's gender and toy interest, and when told only th e target's toy interest (not gender). Children were more likely to make a prediction about toy interest based on the target's sex rather than the target's toy interest. When no gender labels were available, children were able to predict the character's toy interest only if it matched their own interests. If the interests differed from thei r own, children failed to make a prediction about the characters' toy interests. Study 2 investigated children's abilities to make gender related associations within an d between the four content domains. Children ages 6, 8, and 10 were used. Three masculine and feminine items were chosen by researchers to represent each of the four components in Deaux and Lewis's model, and all four domains were represented. Participants were told a story of a child of unspecified sex who liked a certain toy (cue


Gender Role 25 item) from one of the components. The subject child was asked to predict how much the target child would like a series of masculine and feminine items (target items). Two of the items coordinated with the child's sex (within components), and the other six items were part of the other three components (between components). Children 6 years of age were able to make stereotypic predictions about the target child when given same sex c ues, but not opposite sex cues. Children ages 8 and 10 were able to make stereotypic predictions about a target child when given same and opposite sex cues. Martin et al. (1990) revealed children were able to make predictions based on basic gender stereoty pes at a young age, and were able to make more complex predictions as they grew older, suggesting gender role and stereotype instillment had occurred. Growing evidence suggests that as children grow, their gender stereotype knowledge increases (Aubry, Rub le, & Silverman, 1990). A longitudinal study conducted by Aubry, Ruble, and Silverman (1999) interviewed children five times throughout a 3 year period. Children ranged in ages and academic grade level, and were placed in groups according to such. A gender knowledge measure was given out during the first interview, followed by a gender preference measure during the second interview. The gender stereotype measure tested stereotypes using 19 concrete (occupations, activities, and objects) and personality char acteristics items. Analyses of the concrete answer for both preferences and knowledge showed that children in preschool had basic knowledge of gender stereotypes, and these increased with age and through the grade levels. Children in second and third grade displayed high levels of gender knowledge. As knowledge about a stereotype increases, it is logical to assume the chance the stereotype is adopted increases as well.


Gender Role 26 Coinciding with the notion that as children grow older their gender knowledge increases Stoddart and Turiel (1985) asserted that as children grow older their perceptions of cross gender activities become more negative. Stoddart and Turiel examined children's concepts of cross gender activities using kindergarteners, 3 rd 5 th and 8 th grader s. Participants were told brief stories depicting four different categories: sex role, moral, social conventional, and psychological personal. The stories in the sex role category involved children participating in cross gender activities. Participants wer e asked to arrange the stories according how wrong they perceived each story to be, and provide a justification for their choices. Results reveal that sex role categories received the highest degree of wrongness by Kindergartners and eighth graders. Chil dren's gender stereotypes have been proposed to translate to less abstract concepts to ones we can witness in daily life. Picariello, Greenberg, and Pillemer (1990) determined children hold gender stereotypes for color, on both objects and clothing. They e xamined children's use of color in gender identification, and if children's impressions of individuals whose gender they knew were influenced by the color on the person's clothing. In Study 1 six felt pigs of stereotypic male and female colors were posted on a board for the children to see. Participants were asked to identify the pig they liked best, and identify the sex of each pig. Children's gender assignment for the toy pigs showed a high correlation to color stereotypes for all six items. Seventy perce nt of children chose a pig in a gender stereotypic color as their "favorite" animal. In Study 2, children were shown 12 drawings, six depicted stereotypical male traits and six depicted stereotypical female traits. Each gender category was composed of two pictures depicting toys, two depicting objects associated with occupations, and two were attributes


Gender Role 27 associated with each gender. Each drawing had enough space for a doll to be inserted into the scene. Children were handed two pairs of twin dolls, a male an d female pair. Each pair consisted of a doll dressed in blue, and the other in pink. Participants were asked to ch o ose one of the dolls from that pair that best fit the context of the drawing. The large majority of children chose the gender stereotypic doll for 18 of the 24 items. This meant that children's impressions of other individuals, even after knowing the person's gender, could be influenced by the color of the clothing the person is wearing. Study 3 was a replication of Study 2, except in this stu dy there were two dolls, one male and one female. The dolls wore white t shirts instead of gender associated colors. The children were asked to perform the same task with these dolls performed in Study 2. Statistical analyses revealed the stereotypical res ponses provided by children were significant. A comparison of the stereotypical answers provided by the children in Study 2 reveal sex role stereotyping was much stronger than color stereotyping for almost every single occupation. Children in Study 4 compl eted both color and sex role stereotyping tasks. They were shown pictures of masculine (a firetruck, toy tools, and weights) and feminine (nurse's articles, dolls, and a baby) stereotypes. The stereotyping task was shown three times to every child. Once wi th male twins, with female twins, and with a boy and girl. The results for both the stereotyping and color tasks were both statistically significant. The four studies showed that children do hold societal stereotypes regarding sex and color. Though the res ults for color stereotypes were impressive and correlated with the expected stereotypical responses, they were no match for results found linking sex and gender stereotypes. It appears that children can make stereotypical predictions about behavior accordi ng to the clothing color. However, since it is a


Gender Role 28 secondary sex characteristic, its influence is not as prevalent as gender. Even more surprising, children's stereotyped knowledge has been shown to transfer to concepts like occupations. Stroeher (1994), a Kindergarten teacher at the time, decided to interview some of her students to learn the children's thoughts about "gender appropriate" careers. Participants were asked open ended questions about themselves and gender beliefs. They were then shown picture s of different occupations and asked to associate the occupation with a gender, or both men and women. Participants were also instructed to justify their answers. Finally, she asked the children what they wanted to be when they grew up, and to draw a pictu re of themselves in their desired future occupation. Stroeher wanted to observe whether the children would choose occupations that were not gender associated. Girls provided more gender stereotypical responses than boys when asked to identify the occupatio ns with a gender. Three out of the four girls said only men could be firefighters and astronauts because, "Boys and braver and stronger" (p. 98). However, all children chose a traditionally gender associated occupation for their corresponding sex in their drawings. Garret, Ein, and Tremaine's (1977) study displayed similar findings. They examined gender stereotypic occupational preferences in children and how these change with age. In order to deem the occupation being used as a male or female occupation, at least 75% of the people found in that occupation had to be either male or female. Eighteen occupations were male, ten were female, and eight were neutral. Children were given answer sheets containing a 5 point scale. The scale utilized pictures and wor d, and ranged from: "only women," "mostly women, a few men," "women and men," "mostly men, a few women," and "only men." The experimenter asked children who they thought


Gender Role 29 could be the occupation shown. The word "can" in this context was explained as having the ability to do or learn to do the job. Results showed that boys tended to stereotype occupations more so than girls. Jobs labeled as neutral tended to be rated as a male occupation by more boys than girls, and more first graders than fifth graders, wher eas girls rated the same neutral jobs as female occupations. Though these studies may differ in the specific area of gender stereotypes being investigated, they all conclude that children hold basic and sophisticated gender stereotype knowledge based on their age. As children grow older, their knowledge of gender stereotypes and roles becomes more complex and salient. Essentially, all the studies mentioned suggest in some form that children use their gender stereotype knowledge to help them make predictio ns about what is feminine, masculine, and gender appropriate. This knowledge could be used to make a simple prediction about another child's toy preference (Martin, Wood, & Little, 1990), or as significant as the career they believe they could perform once they grow up (Garret, Ein, & Tremaine, 1977; Stoeher, 1994). Research on Children's Literature, Gender Roles, and Stereotypes Though much research on gender roles and gender stereotypes has taken place, the investigation of their part in children's lite rature and their effect on children remains fairly new and unexplored. Furthermore, little is known about the possible impact gender roles and stereotypes in literature can have on other areas (e.g., vocational aspiration). However, the few studies conduct ed have generated findings that have proven critical to the study of gender roles and stereotypes, and their instillment. Wohlwend (2009) conducted an elaborated longitudinal study of children's play


Gender Role 30 with Disney dolls and stories. She observed a small g roup of boys and girls act out roles and reenact stories from Disney books and movies involving Disney princesses. This group was labeled the "Disney Princess Group." She wanted to examine whether the girls in the group (targets) would create novel charact ers and situations, counternarratives to the gender stereotypical endings found in Disney princesses stories, if given the option to. While observing the children, Wohlwend noticed they were more than eager to take up the character of Disney Princesses. Du ring a play activity, she had the children enact a Disney play and create story boards. One of the girls, Zoey, became the leader and directed the enactment. Though the play and story boards were never finished, interesting results were still revealed. Zoe y's initial role in the play "Sleeping Beauty" was that of the damsel in distress. When others failed to take her direction, she took a more active part in the play and enacted several characters. Instead of having another child, in particular one of the b oys, play the part of the prince and rescue her from the dragon, she decided to take up arms and free herself. As Wohlwend describes: "Her [Zoey's] final revision, drawing long hair on the dueling prince, cemented the transformation of hero to heroin, from prince to princess" (2009, p. 77). Wohlwend (2009) describes Zoey as breaking free from the female stereotype of a damsel in distress. However, Zoey's action occurs as a result of other children's failure to engage in the play. Perhaps if one of the boys had chosen to participate and act out the role of brave prince, Zoey may have chosen to remain a helpless woman. Children's books often portray women as helpless, passive, and dependent. Although these stereotypes appear evident to adults, it is reasonabl e to wonder whether children posses enough gender knowledge to be aware of such.


Gender Role 31 Previous research has demonstrated children's preference for gender stereotypes in children's literature (Jennings, 1975). Jennings investigated whether preschoolers were awa re of the sex typing in children's books, and if they preferred characters portrayed in stereotypic sex roles. Preschoolers were placed into small groups according to their gender. Each individual group was read two different stories: one depicted the pro tagonist in typical gender role behaviors, and the second story depicted the protagonist in gender appropriate behavior for the opposite sex. Children were tested for preference and recall immediately after the stories were told. Results revealed children from both sexes preferred the story depicting gender stereotypic behavior. This may be due to character identification. The children were better able to identify to the character engaging in activities they would. Jennings's (1975) results indicated childr en were not only aware of gender stereotypes in their literature, but actually preferred them. It has been suggested that children are not only likely to identify with narrative characters, but attribute gender stereotypic characteristic and behavior to these characters as well. Libby and Aries (1989) tested preschool children for gender stereotypes in their fantasy narratives. Participants were read six story beginnings that were meant to present them with common conflicts they could resolve, or novel si tuations. The sex of the characters in the stories was unspecified. Once these were read to the participant, the child was told to continue one of the stories. Three categories were created to catalog the content of the children's stories: character descri ption, character behavior, and story outcome. Libby and Aries found no significant gender differences for the story outcome category. However, there was a significant gender difference in the gender assignment of the protagonist. More female than male prot agonists were chosen by girls, and no boy


Gender Role 32 identified the main character as a female. Girls also incorporated characters that displayed nurturing behaviors and responded to those in need more so than boys. Also, girls were observed using plots where their f emale protagonists sought out and received help from other characters more than boys. Boys, on the other hand, used more plots in which their male protagonist exhibited aggressive behavior. Behaviors exercised by fictional characters have been shown to im pact the children listening to these stories. McArthur and Eismen (1976) observed achievement oriented behavior in preschool children after being read different stories. One of the stories described a male character engaging in achievement oriented behav ior (stereotypical), while another described a female character engaging in achievement oriented behavior (reversal). Finally, a story in which no characters engaged in achievement oriented behaviors was used as the control. Participants were asked to part icipate in a persistence task after the story was read. Boys who were read the stereotyped story persisted longer at the task than boys who were read the reversal story. Similarly, girls who were read the reversal story persisted longer at the task than gi rls who were read the stereotype story. Children were also able to recall more items pertaining to the central character when it was gender relevant. The large majority of children (90%) stated a preference for a same sex character, a result of gender iden tification. Imitation and preference of the same sex characters by these children reinforces the idea that children seek out models that will provide them with gender relevant information. Scott and Feldman Summers (1979) reinforced this idea through thei r research, revealing girls are more likely to believe women can in fact be active agents through the


Gender Role 33 use of narrative fiction. They observed children's reactions to stories that presented the main character as female performing traditional male roles. Chi ldren were assigned to read a total of eight stories. Each story had two versions (male protagonist and female protagonist) and were identical to one another except for the character's sex and the pronouns used. Children were divided into three groups and assigned different conditions. In the female majority condition, six out of the eight stories the children were assigned featured a female protagonist. In the male majority condition, six out of the eight stories assigned featured a male protagonist. Lastl y, an equal proportion condition (four male and four female protagonists) was assigned. The eight stories portrayed the protagonist in the roles of, "interpersonal problem solver, helper, explorer, achiever, decision maker, communicator, leader, and intell ectual problem solver" (Scott & Feldman Summers, 1979, p. 398). More girls than boys believed that females could imitate the protagonist in the stories. Also, children assigned to the female majority condition believed females were capable of imitating the protagonist more so than the children assigned to the male majority condition. A sex role perception questionnaire revealed that girls responded with significantly fewer stereotypic responses than boys. Children in the female majority condition believed t hat more girls could engage in the same activities as the protagonist. Therefore, the authors concluded that children were able to make gender related generalizations based on the stories This finding helps reinforce Bandura's (1971) belief that symbolic ally represented models can in fact influence and affect children's behavior (Scott & Feldman Summers, 1979). Addressing the Gap We have learned that gender roles and gender stereotypes can be found in a large


Gender Role 34 array of places, from media outlets to social institutions, to children's literature. Adults play an enormous role as social influences. Children's behavior and beliefs can be altered by important figures in their lives. Consequently, teachers are of the utmost importance. Since school is one of the first social systems to which children are introduced, the beliefs and knowledge learned through this institution are quintessential in their development. However, a large gap exists in the literature as to how influential teachers are in terms of gender s tereotype instillment. The studies mentioned above confirm gender roles and gender stereotypes are prevalent in children's literature. Women are barely featured, and when they are, they are either damsels in distress or evil witches. Either way, the portr ayal of women in children's books appears to be negative. Worst of all, these studies confirm that behaviors and traits found in children's fiction are likely to be imitated by children. The present study will attempt to f ill these gaps by ana lyzing the immediate and short term effects of gender role and gender stereotype instillment through the use of children's literature. This study in no way attempts to criticize teachers or their teaching method. Rather, it focuses on the role a teacher can play as a social influence in gender role instillment on students. Also, most research conducted examining gender roles through the use children's literature rarely measure the transfer of these stereotypes and gender roles to other domains. The current study e xamined if gender roles and stereotypes found and instilled through children's literature could transfer into domains like vocational preference and item association to a gender. Using a fabricated story and classic fairy tale, both with alternate endings, gender roles and stereotypes were measured in terms of vocational desire, identification of occupations to a gender, and associating


Gender Role 35 specific items to a gender. The classic fairy tale included in the study was used to measure children's learned preference s for classic fairy tale endings (usually gender stereotypical). The short term impact teachers could have on children's story preferences was examined. Method Participants A total of 18 participants (7 male, 11 female), ages 3 6, enrolled in two differen t primary classrooms in a small Montessori school received parental consent for participation in the present study. One primary classroom was a mixed primary classroom, composed of children 3 to 6 years of age (Atypical Ending Group). The younger children were found in the mixed primary class. The other primary classroom (Stereotypical Ending Group) was a kindergarten classroom, composed of children ages 4 to 6. Two female participants were unable to complete the story task and were excluded from the sample Two other female participants were unable to complete the first half of the story task, and were omitted from the first half of the sample analysis. Two head teachers from the same institution and grade level as the participants agreed to participate. Si gned parental consent was the only requirement for participation. Materials and Setting Twenty two flashcards similar to Aubry et al. (1999) depicting different occupations and gender related items were used. Three additional flashcards with the words "Ma n," "Woman," and "Both," written on them were used. Two stories were read to the children: (a) one fabricated and written by the experimenter, and (b) a classic Brother Grimm fairy tale readapted and edited by the experimenter. Answer sheets and


Gender Role 36 stickers w ere provided for a sticker task. A short questionnaire was administered and read by the experimenter to the children before and after the stories were narrated. A short script was used by the teachers and experimenter. The Cookie Basket (see Appendix A) w as written by the experimenter for the present study. The characters in the story were all anthropomorphic animals. The use of animals in children's literature has been said to establish some distance between readers and characters, yet still manages to co mmunicate gender relations (Guillaumin, 1992 in Brugeilles, Cromer, & Andreyev, 2002). In order to avoid gender identification with the story characters but still deliver the gender stereotyped (or atypical) message, animal protagonists were used. The book was 16 pages long, and contained illustrations. The story contained two different endings. Ending 1, labeled the atypical ending, depicted an active, dominant main female character who becomes the tale's heroine (Brugeilles, Cromer, Cromer, & Andreyev, 20 02; Richard Abbott, 1992). Ending 2, labeled the stereotypical ending, centered around two active, dominant main male characters who become the tale's heroes, and a passive, secondary female character ( Brugeilles, Cromer, Cromer, & Andreyev, 2002; Richard Abbott, 1992). Teachers were assigned an ending to prefer for this story according to the experimental condition they were appointed to. The teacher assigned to the atypical ending condition was instructed to prefer Ending 1. The teacher assigned to the s tereotypical ending condition was instructed to prefer Ending 2. Rapunzel (see Appendix B) was readapted and edited specifically for the present study, and presented with two alternate endings. The first half of the book, the tale itself and the first en ding, was Amy Ehrlic's (1985) adaptation of the classic Brother Grimm's fairy tale. The second ending was written by the experimenter for this project. The book


Gender Role 37 was 14 pages long, and contained illustrations. Ending 1, labeled the stereotypical ending, was the classic ending to the story. Here, Rapunzel is a passive secondary character (Brugeilles, Cromer, Cromer, & Andreyev, 2002; Richard Abbott, 1992). Ending 2, the atypical ending, portrayed Rapunzel as an active, dominant main character who becomes some what of a heroine (Brugeilles, Cromer, Cromer, & Andreyev, 2002; Richard Abbott, 1992). Teachers were not assigned an ending to prefer for this story. The questionnaire used was an open ended questionnaire created specifically for this study. It asked th e participant's age, gender, and desired future occupation. The questionnaire was dispensed before and after the stories were read to record any shifts in occupational desires. It was speculated the ending condition the children were assigned to (stereotyp ical or atypical) might have affected and consequently changed the desired future occupation previously stated by the participant. The sticker task was conducted after each story. Participants were handed answer sheets with two story labels and two ending boxes corresponding to each story. The story's title was labeled on the middle top half of the answer sheet, and beneath the title were two boxes labeled "Ending 1" and "Ending 2." After each story was read, participants were given a sticker and instr ucted to place the sticker inside the ending box corresponding to the ending they preferred. The flashcard task conducted was a measure of gender stereotypes in occupation and item association and use. Ten flashcards with different occupations written on them were shown to each participant, along with ten flashcards with different objects. The occupation and item cards were 28 cm x 20 cm. The occupations used in the flashcard task have been classified as male dominant, female dominant, or gender neutra l


Gender Role 38 professions (Aubry et al. 1999; Garrett, Ein, & Tremaine, 1977; Picariello, Greenberg, & Pillemer, 1990; Signorella & Liben, 1984; Stroeher, 1994). The items used in the flashcard task have been associated with the male or female gender (Aubry et al, 199 9; Picariello et al., 1990). Two flashcards depicting a gender neutral occupation and a gender neutral item were used in a pre test to ensure the child understood the task. Three cards (35 cm x 26 cm) with the words "Man," "Woman," and "Both" were used t o describe each gender; "Both" represented both a man and a woman. Children were instructed to place the flashcard shown on the larger cards they thought best fit or described the item at hand. Points were awarded for every gender atypical or gender neutra l answer participants provided for a gender dominated occupation. They were also awarded points for every gender neutral response they provided for a gender neutral occupation. Points were awarded for every gender atypical or gender neutral response provid ed for a gender associated item; a point was given for a gender neutral response on the gender neutral item in the pre test. A higher number of points represented a less stereotypical response by the participant. A complete list of the occupations used in this task, the gender associated with each occupation, and whether the occupation was used during the Pre test Trial or the Experimental Test Trial can be found in Appendix C. The items used, the gender associated with them, and the test trial each item wa s used in can be found in Appendix D. The script (see Appendix E), used by the teachers and the experimenter ensured the same procedure was carried out, and no differential treatment on behalf of the experimenter and teachers took place. A script was used by the teachers to explain to the children the story and sticker task, and the narration of the stories. A script was used by


Gender Role 39 the experimenter for the questionnaire and flashcard task. The script used for the flashcard task was based on Garret et al. (197 7) script for gender identification of an occupation. All testing occurred in the children's homeroom classroom. Procedure Children were interviewed individually by the experimenter and the questionnaire was administered. If the participant could not pro vide a response for the desired occupation question, the experimenter cued them by encouraging them, and mentioning a list of occupations (see script in Appendix D for further detail). After all participants were interviewed, the story task took place. The head teacher announced she was going to read a story, and explained the story contained two endings. After the second story ending, she would announce the ending she preferred (according to the experimental condition assigned). Participants were told they would be asked about their own story ending preference after the teacher's announcement. The Cookie Basket was read first. Immediately after the teacher's ending preference was announced, participants completed the first sticker task. Rapunzel was read second. Again, the head teacher announced to the classroom she would be reading another book with two endings as well. This time, she told the participants she would not announce her story ending preference. After the second story ending, participants comp leted the second sticker task. Children were again interviewed individually and administered the same questionnaire. After the questionnaire completion, the child participated in the flashcard task. Participant responses for occupation and item associatio n were recorded and later


Gender Role 40 analyzed. Children in the Atypical Ending Group heard their teacher's preference for the atypical ending (Ending 1) for the first story read ( The Cookie Basket ). Children in the Stereotypical Ending groups heard their teacher's p reference for the stereotypical ending (Ending 2) for The Cookie Basket Two female participants in the Atypical Ending Group became extremely fidgety during the narration of the first story, and had to be excused from the classroom. Consequently, they wer e omitted from the sample. Two different female participants were unable to follow instructions and pay attention during the first story narration. Thus, they too were excused from the classroom. However, this second group of girls did listen to the second story, completed the second half of the sticker task, the questionnaire, and the flashcard task. Therefore, they were only excluded from sample analysis within their group and between groups, but were included in analyses between genders for the flashcard task and ending preference for the second book ( Rapunzel ). The pooled sample age range was from 4 6 years of age. Upon completion by the last participant in the group, all the children received a reward for participation. Results A comparison between and within sample groups was made. The Atypical Ending Group began with a total of ten participants. As the first story ( The Cookie Basket ) was being read to the children, four participants became anxious and fidgety and had to be excused from the classroom. Two out of these four participants did listen to the second story ( Rapunzel ), answered the desired future occupation question before and after the book reading, and completed the flashcard task. However, all four of these participants will be excluded from the first half of the analysis as a result of not receiving the critical


Gender Role 41 manipulation. Comparisons Between Atypical and Stereotypical Ending Groups Story ending preference and sticker task. Three out of the six participants in the Atypical Ending Group p referred the atypical ending (Ending 1) for the first story, The Cookie Basket Yet, five out of the six children in this group chose the atypical ending for second story ( Rapunzel ). The teacher did not announce a preference for this story, only for The Co okie Basket This means that even though only 50% of the children preferred the same ending as their teacher for the first story, about 83% of them preferred the same kind of ending (atypical) the teacher preferred for the second story. Therefore, it is po ssible that the teacher's preference did influence preferences for an atypical ending; this could have transferred from one story to the other. Children in the Stereotypical Ending Group did appear to be influenced by the teacher's story ending preferen ce. Five out of eight children (62.5%) preferred Ending 2 (stereotypical ending) for The Cookie Basket which was the ending the teacher announced as her favorite. Three out of eight children (37.5%) also preferred the stereotypical ending in Rapunzel Alt hough not a significant number, there is room to speculate whether the preference for the stereotypical ending in the second story ( Rapunzel ) could have transferred over from the previous story. Questionnaire, desired future occupation. Only one of the s ix children in the Atypical Ending Group changed their desired occupations. The group's sample consisted of three boys and three girls. All the boys in the sample provided gender stereotypical answers for their desired future occupations. A drummer, a race car driver, and a turkey hunter were the occupations stated by the male participants. Even though these vocations


Gender Role 42 are not labeled as typical male occupations by the literature, they do posses male characteristics (e.g., active, assertive, aggressive). One girl stated she wanted to be a dentist, and another an astronaut. The third girl in the sample stated she wanted to be a veterinarian after listening to both stories. Before hearing the stories, she could not provide an answer for the occupation question and it was left blank. Children in the Stereotypical Ending Group provided more gender stereotypical answers for their desired future occupations than children in Atypical Ending Group. The group was composed of four girls and four boys. The occupational responses the girls in the sample provided were: (a) a mom, (b) a singer, (c) a bunny farmer, and (d) Tinker Bell. Again, none of these occupations, with the obvious exception of a mother, were deemed classic female vocations. Nonetheless, these occupatio ns posses feminine traits. The occupational responses for the boys in the sample before the stories were read were: (a) an animal pound owner, (b) a rocket ship conductor, (c) a police officer, and (d) an astronaut. Though there was a shift in occupational aspirations in one participant's response after being read the stories, his answer did not shift significantly in terms of gender stereotypicality (from a rocket ship conductor to a horse back rider). Flashcard task. A total of ten points for the occupat ion and item cards could be awarded per child, resulting in a grand total of twenty points. The higher the number of points, the less gender stereotypical were the child's responses. The Atypical Ending Group scored a mean total of a little over 5 points ( 5.83 with six children, and 5.5 with eight children) for the occupation cards, and less than 5 points (4.3 with six children and 4.75 with eight) for the item cards. The scores attained for the occupation cards were only slightly above chance, and therefor e cold not be considered of significant importance.


Gender Role 43 Participants' mean scores for the item cards were relatively low (below chance). The lower the score, the more stereotypical were the answers. Therefore, it appears participants in the Atypical Ending con dition were not influenced by their teacher's attempt to instill atypical gender roles and stereotypes. The short term influence witnessed in the story ending preference exhibited by the children in the Stereotypical Ending Group did not transfer to the f lashcard task. The children scored over 5 points (5.75) on the occupation cards, and a little over 4 points (4.6) on the item cards. Though the mean score attained for the occupation cards was not significant, it was above chance. The mean score for item c ards approached chance. Consequently, the answers on both items cannot be considered stereotypical. Comparison Between Boys and Girls Girls provided slightly less stereotypical responses than boys for the item cards in the flashcard task (4.89 versus 4.4 2). Eight out of nine girls preferred the atypical ending for Rapunzel (the second story). From the eight girls that preferred the atypical ending, five were in the Atypical Ending Group. Three out of seven boys preferred the stereotypic ending. Interestin gly, two of the boys who preferred the stereotypical ending were in the Stereotypic Ending Group. Lastly, all the boys in the study provided gender stereotypical responses for desired future occupations. Though not all the occupations stated were stereotyp ical male occupations, they all possessed stereotypic male traits. In comparison, two out the nine girls in the sample responded to the occupational question with atypical gender vocations, and one with a gender neutral occupation. These three girls were a lso in the Gender Atypical Group, composed of a total of five girls.


Gender Role 44 Discussion The goal of the present study was to examine the influence teachers could have on the gender roles of students, both stereotypical and atypical, specifically through the use o f children's literature. Though the findings yielded no conclusive evidence of gender role instillment, the results were suggestive. The majority of children in the Atypical Ending Group preferred the atypical ending to the second story, suggesting the t eacher's preference influenced preferences for an atypical ending. The children in the Stereotypical Ending Group appear to have experienced an immediate, short term influence in their ending preferences. Five out of the eight children in the group preferr ed the stereotypical ending to the first story, the ending announced as the teacher's favorite. Interestingly, only three of the eight children in this group preferred the stereotypical ending for the second story. The question of whether children preferre d stereotypical fairy tale endings (gender stereotypic, for the most part) as a result of the long term exposure to such throughout the years was of great importance. If children did in fact display this preference for stereotypical endings, it would be di fficult to distinguish whether their story ending preference was the result of the teacher's influence or years of exposure to these kinds of endings. The greater preference for the atypical story ending in the second story, even in the Stereotypical Endin g Group, suggested it was in fact the teacher who played a role in the child's story ending preference. This reinforces the findings suggesting the teacher did have a short term influence on the children's ending preference for the first story in the stere otypical ending condition. Children in the Stereotypical Ending Group listed more gender stereotypical occupations than those in the Atypical Ending Group. In fact, all children in


Gender Role 45 the Stereotypical Ending Group provided gender typical answers before and a fter hearing the stories and teacher's ending preference. There was no shift from a gender stereotypic occupation to a gender neutral or gender atypical occupation, like the one witnessed in the Atypical Ending Group. Eight out of the nine girls in the st udy preferred the atypical ending to the second story. However, three out of the seven boys chose the stereotypical ending for the second story, two of whom were in the Stereotypical Ending Group. All boys listed gender stereotypical vocations for their fu ture desired occupations, while girls were less stereotypical in their answers. This finding is consistent with previous literature (Garret, Ein, & Tremaine, 1973; Stroeher, 1994). One girl responded to the occupation question with a gender neutral occupat ion, and two other girls responded with gender atypical occupations. Also interesting was that all three girls were in the Atypical ending group. The girl who provided a gender neutral occupation to the questionnaire experienced a shift in vocational prefe rence. Before listening to the stories and the teacher's gender atypical ending preference, she could not provide an answer to the occupation question and therefore it was left blank. Yet, she was able to provide an answer to this question within seconds o f it being asked, after hearing the stories and teacher's preference. She stated she wanted to become a veterinarian (without being cued) after she heard the second story. Although there is not an existing literature on the gender stereotypes associated wi th this occupation, the 2000 Census for Occupational Employment by Gender in Rhode Island ( ) did not list it as dominated by either gender, making it appear as a gender neutral occupation. Both groups a nd genders scored similarly on the flashcard task, although girls


Gender Role 46 were a little less stereotypical in their answers for the item cards. Boys stereotyped occupations more than girls, a result that is supported in previous studies as well. This was witnessed in Garret, Ein, and Tremaine's (1977) investigation, where boys indicated they thought only men could perform, or had the ability to learn to do, the majority of jobs being shown. Stroeher (1994) also confirmed this finding when the boys in her sample cho se typically male associated occupations as their future vocations. Previous research also indicates boys prefer gender stereotypical stories (Jennings, 1975; Libby & Aries, 1988; Scott & Feldman Summers, 1979). According to Jennings (1975) this may be th e result of character identification. Children typically identify with the protagonist of a story. Therefore, it is understandable as to why more males than females preferred a gender stereotypical ending to a story. This also explains why girls preferred the atypical story ending. Although more boys chose the gender stereotypical ending than did girls, it is intriguing that two of the three boys who preferred the stereotypical ending were in the Stereotypical Ending Group. Instillment of gender roles and gender stereotypes, both stereotypical and atypical, could have occurred for ending and occupational preferences. Though only half the children in the Atypical Ending Group preferred the atypical ending for the first story, five out of the six preferred t he atypical ending for the second story. The occupational shift witnessed in the Atypical Ending Group was from undecided to a gender neutral occupation, while the one that occurred in the Stereotypical Ending Group remained gender stereotypical. Dilendi k (1975) revealed students retained more information when a teacher had similar attitudes about a subject. The children in the atypical ending condition could have


Gender Role 47 heard the teacher's gender atypical ending preference, absorbed it, and transferred it to th e second story. Although the measure of immediate influence appeared somewhat questionable (since only half of the children chose the same ending the teacher preferred), the Atypical Ending Group's ending preference for the second story indicates instillme nt for preferring an atypical ending. This same idea could be suggested in terms of the children's occupational preference. No occupational shift from atypical to stereotypical occurred in the Atypical Ending Group, but one shift to a gender neutral occupa tion was witnessed, again proposing gender roles were influenced in the short term. Another probable cause for the results correspond with Scott and Felman Summer's (1979) results. Their findings revealed that children, in particular girls, who heard a st ory in which the protagonist was a female character displaying an active role, and exhibiting male associated characteristics (e.g., decision maker, explorer, problem solver) believed females could imitate the protagonist. Also, boys assigned to a female m ajority story condition, where the majority of protagonists were active females, believed females were capable of imitating the protagonist more so than children (in particular boys) in a male majority story condition. It is likely children in the atypical ending condition, one where the protagonist was an active female character, believed the second story could also have an active female protagonist (Ending 2, gender atypical ending). Again, the results found were inconclusive and merely suggestive. Inco nclusive data could have been the result of the small sample, the study setting which made experimental manipulation difficult, or perhaps that occupational and item association measurements (flashcard task) were not adequate assessments of gender stereoty pes in


Gender Role 48 children's literature. The study commenced with a pool of 18 participants, and was quickly narrowed down to 16 (2 of whom did not complete all the tasks). This is an extremely small sample, making any results difficult to generalize to the larger po pulation. The study was conducted in the children's classroom, amongst peers and teachers. This field setting made experimental manipulation very difficult. Though it may have eliminated the artificiality met in a laboratory setting, especially when workin g with children, it also made it difficult to control and predict certain variables. Some of the variables that were difficult to predict and control were the children's behavior and reactions. The initial method for the present study called for each clas sroom to be divided into two groups, with a grand total of four different groups. However, the children in the first primary classroom became very distraught and upset by this action. This was also a mixed primary class, meaning there were children of mixe d age groups, from 3 6 years of age. Some of the children became very unsettled believing the children being tested first were being shown preferential treatment. Consequently, they became very upset. Dividing the classroom in half proved to be impossible. Therefore, the initial experimental method was modified to address the children's distress. Even though carrying out the study in a familiar setting may have helped the children feel more comfortable, the study setting made experimental manipulation diffi cult to realize. There is also a probability that the flashcard task was not the best measurement for gender roles in children's literature and gender role instillment. Perhaps the short term influence witnessed in the story task did not transfer over to the flashcard task because of the time interval between tasks. Every child was tested individually by a single experimenter. It is possible that by the time a child was tested, the short term influence


Gender Role 49 regarding stereotypical or atypical gender role instil lment could have dissipated. The possibility that gender role instillment through the use of literature did not transfer or could not be applied to item association and occupations is likely. The flashcard task measured gender stereotypicality in terms of practical (items) and less tangible and distant (occupations) concepts. Growing up is a difficult concept for a young child to grasp. Aging and choosing a profession may seem very abstract and distant to a child, perhaps too distant to witness any influenc e in relations to gender stereotypes and roles previously observed. Due to the inconclusive nature of these findings, it is difficult to generalize them. The evidence found can best serve as an anecdote for results in future research in this field. Though o nly a few of the findings were provocative, they are suggestive of what may be found if a larger sample was to be tested, or if a longitudinal study was to be conducted. It cannot be conclusively stated that teachers did or can instill gender roles upo n their students. Yet, implications about the impact of these results can be suggested. The evidence found in the current study suggests that teachers can in fact instill gender roles upon their students. If these same behaviors were to be exhibited throug hout a longitudinal timeline, it is possible (perhaps even likely) that gender role instillment could be witnessed. It is likely that subtle gender role instillment extended over twelve years of education could have a much larger impact than what was obser ved in the present study. Replicating the present with a large sample could prove to be substantially beneficial. A larger sample would most likely generate significant results. Mentioned


Gender Role 50 previously was the lack of control over children's reactions and be haviors. This result ed in a loss of a considerable number of participants. A larger sample would ensure a significant number of participants, even if a few had to be excluded for unforeseeable reasons (such as behavior and reaction). The present study wa s carried out in the children's homeroom classroom and with the children's head teachers. The familiar setting eliminated the artificial effect a laboratory setting may have produced. The use of familiar people and setting created a scenario likely to be e ncountered in the real world. The mundane realism witnessed in this study helps strengthen the results. Conclusion In conclusion, gender roles and gender stereotypes play pervasive roles in our daily lives. The dynamics through which they can be found ar e complex and often intertwined with a number of variables. The potential impact of gender stereotypes found in children's literature has recently been acknowledged. The critical role teachers can play in instilling gender roles should be recognized. There fore, it is of great importance that research in this area continue and that teachers be made aware of their potential influence. Awareness of gender roles and gender stereotypes in the classroom and children's literature, especially by teachers, can prov e to be beneficial. Greater consciousness in teaching methods and the literature children are exposed to could result in great benefits. Putting the evidence found in this study to practical use could prove to be beneficial in the elimination of gender ste reotypes and their repercussions.


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Gender Role 58 Appendix A The Cookie Basket Once upon a time, there lived a porcupine named Harry. Harry lived in a beautiful forest, filled with animals. Everyone lived happily and peacefully in this forest. Though H arry had many friends, he still felt lonely and wished for a girlfriend. One day, at Mr. Otter's birthday party, Harry met a beautiful porcupine named Lila. Lila was funny and made Harry very happy. The two fell in love and decided they wanted to get marr ied. One sunny summer day, a dark shadow casted over the forest. It was cold and gray, and no one saw any sunshine for a week! No forest animal knew what had happened to their beautiful forest. One day, while Harry and Lila talked to Mr. and Mrs. Otter, loud rumbling was heard. The ground shook and the wind blew. Suddenly an army of mean looking animals marched across the forest. All the forest animals went outside their homes to see what was happening. The army stopped marching, and a large bear appear ed. He rose up and started speaking in a deep, loud voice. I am Max the Great," said the bear. "I have come to take over this forest. This is my army. The scariest and toughest animals are found in it. If you do as I say, you will have no problems." A ll the forest animals were scared. Max's army was made up of big, scary animals, and no one wanted to run into any problems with them. The days grew grayer and colder. No sunshine was seen for weeks! Max was mean to the forest animals. He took their food, made them work, and treated them badly.


Gender Role 59 But Harry still managed to feel happy. Lila and Harry were very in love, and got married. Though the sun didn't shine the day of their wedding, Harry was as radiant as the sun itself. One day, one of Max's soldier s knocked on Harry's door. Knock, knock, knock!!!" Startled, Harry wondered who that could be. Who is it?" Harry asked in a gentle voice. Max the Great has sent us. You and your wife are to come with us." Harry opened the door and asked the soldier what was happening. The soldier said Max wanted all the forest animals to build him a castle, and Harry and Lila had to help build it. All the forest animals were forced to build Max's castle. The days were long and hard, filled with hard work and very l ittle food. Max made all the forest animals, big and small, carry big rocks from the river and bring them over to the construction sight. One afternoon, while Mr. Otter and Harry were carrying some rocks back, Mr. Otter collapsed. Harry started screaming. "Help! Help! Somebody, please help us!" But nobody came. Alone and scared, Harry ran for help. When he reached the forest, he told the other forest animals what had happened. Everyone rushed to the river and took Mr. Otter home. Mr. Otter was not a youn g otter, and was too old to be doing such heavy work. Harry thought this was unfair. He had had enough. I am going to talk to Max and tell him he can't keep doing this! Someone needs to stand up to him." Harry left, against Lila's plead, and headed towa rds Max's den. When he got there, two


Gender Role 60 big panthers stopped him. What is a little porcupine like you doing over here?" I have come to speak to Max the Great," replied Harry in a sturdy voice. "Oh ya? And what do you want to talk to Max about, huh?" roar ed the panther. I have to talk to him about the forest animals. Some of them are getting hurt. We can't keep living like this!" The panthers bursted out in laughter. Ha ha ha. You think Max will care? Go ahead. Tell him yourself." Harry walked into t he the dark, cold den. Though he was scared, he knew he had to tell Max about his friends. Who goes there?" yelled out a deep voice. It is Harry the porcupine. I have come to talk to you about the forest animals. They are getting hurt out there. We are working too hard. You can't keep doing this, Max!" A large black bear leaped out in front of Harry. How dare you?!" screamed Max. I will do whatever I please with the forest animals. And YOU will be punished for questioning me!" Max captured Harry a nd chained him up in his big bear den. Word spread quickly to the rest of the animals. When Lila, his wife heard, she became very scared. Ending I But she brushed that fear away and decided she was going to save her husband and friends. Lila devised a pl an to rescue Harry and fight Max's army. She told the Beavers to start building a dam, and help all the forest animals cross the river to the other


Gender Role 61 side. The beaver's dam would block the water from the river, and let the forest animals cross safely to the other side. All the forest animals got to work right away. Meanwhile, Lila baked a batch of cookies and got dressed. She put the cookies in a basket and headed towards Max's den. On the way, she was stopped by the same pair of panthers. They asked her what she wanted and what she had in her basket. I have come to visit Max. I've made him these delicious cookies," said Lila. The panthers didn't think much of Lila or what she was carrying inside the basket. Little did they know that Lila had hidden tools i n the basket of cookies to break Harry free from the chains that were trapping him. As soon as Lila got to the den, Max jumped out in front of her. What are you doing here?" asked Max. I've come to visit you and give you some of my delicious home ba ked cookies." She handed Max a cookie, and he quickly gobbled it up. This is delicious!" Max exclaimed. Help yourself. I've made an entire batch, just for you," replied Lila. She handed Max another cookie, which he gobbled up with much delight. Whil e Max savored the cookie Lila had given him, she sneakily grabbed the tools she had hidden in the basket and hid them behind her. She said to Max: "I have this entire basket full of cookies, just for you. And I'll give them to you under one condition. You have to eat them outside


Gender Role 62 the den and share a couple with the panthers. I want to know if others liked them so I could make you baskets full of cookies every week." Max was so excited by Lila's proposal that he ran out of the den, eating the cookies an d telling the panthers about them. Lila waited until Max was gone and got to work on the chains. She rushed to Harry, who was more than happy to see her. Using the tools, Lila was able to break the chains and set Harry free. Meanwhile, Max and the panthe rs had eaten the entire basket of cookies. With a full stomach, they became tired, and decided to take a nap. Just as they had fallen asleep outside the den, Lila and Harry ran away towards the forest. After a short nap, Max awoke to find Harry and Lila we re gone! He was so angry, he ordered his entire army to go after them. When Harry and Lila reached the river, they saw all their friends had made it to the other side safely. As they started crossing the river they saw Max and his army chasing them. They hurried across the river to join the other forest animals. Once Lila and Harry had made it to the other side, Lila yelled, "Now Beavers!" Just then, the beavers jumped into the water and broke the dam they had built, making the river water rush everywhere. Max and his army were not strong enough to swim against the river's force, and were swept away from the forest. "Hip hip hooray!" exclaimed all the forest animals. "Lila saved the day! Hooray for Lila!" cheered all the forest animals. And they all lived h appily ever after. THE END


Gender Role 63 Ending II Lila didn't know what to do. She started crying thinking she would never see Harry again. Mr. Otter thought about his friend and how good he had been to him. He decided he needed to do something and help Harry and the rest of the forest animals. He told Lila not to worry, that Harry would be fine. He told Lila to bake a batch of cookies and get dressed they were going to visit Max in his den. While Lila baked, Mr. Otter gathered up the forest animals and told them to st art crossing the river. He told the beavers to build a dam on the river. The dam would block the river water, allowing the forest animals to cross to the other side safely. Mr. Otter hid a few tools in the basket of cookies that would help break the chains holding Harry prisoner and free him. As they walked towards the cave, they were stopped by the two panthers. What do you two want? And what are you carrying in that basket?" We have come to see Max and give him a gift. I am just an old otter, and L ila baked a batch of delicious cookies for Max," said Mr. Otter. The panthers didn't think much of the pair, and let them go ahead into the den. Once they were inside the den, Max jumped out in front of them and said, Who are you? What are you doing h ere?" We have come to give you this gift," replied Mr. Otter. "I am just an old otter accompanying Lila to visit you and give you some of her delicious cookies." Mr. Otter handed a few cookies over to Max, and gobbled it up in delight. While Max ate t he cookies, Mr. Otter managed to take the tools out of the basket and hide them.


Gender Role 64 These cookies are incredible!" exclaimed Max. Well, there's plenty of them," said Mr. Otter. "And we have more at home. Here, take the basket. Go outside and tell your a rmy about them and share some with them. If they like them, come back and tell us and we'll bring more. But you have to share with your army so we know what kind of cookies they like." Max ran out the den, sharing cookies with everyone. After Max left, Mr. Otter ran to Harry and got to work on breaking him free from the chains. Lila rushed towards Harry and gave him a big hug. Just as Mr. Otter had finished freeing Harry from the chains, they heard a noise. It was Max! He had return to the den. They star ted to run, but just as they were about to escape, Max saw them and came after them. Lila tripped and fell on the ground. Harry noticed Max was charging towards Lila, so he ran up to Max and managed to prick him. Max fell over in pain, and Harry, Lila, and Mr. Otter were able to get away. But barely. Max got up shortly after and ordered his entire army to chase after them. When Harry, Lila, and Mr. Otter reached the river, they saw the beavers had blocked off the river water with their dam and all the for est animals were on the other side. As they were crossing the river, they saw Max and his army chasing after them. They hurried to join the other forest animals across the river. Once they had made it safely to the other side, Mr. Otter yelled, Now beave rs!" The beavers broke the dam, making the river water rush towards Max and his army. Max and the soldiers were not strong enough to swim against the river's current and were


Gender Role 65 swept away. All the forest animals cheered, Hooray Mr. Otter! You saved the da y!" Mr. Otter smiled and said, "Yes, but I couldn't have done it without Harry. He rescued Lila and saved us all." The forest animals lifted Mr. Otter and Harry in joy and sang. And they all lived happily ever after. THE END


Gender Role 66 Appendix B Rapunzel A man and his wife had long wished to have a child, and after many years it seemed that at last they were to have one. Their house was in the countryside and at the back was a little window that overlooked a beautiful garden planted with vegetables and f lowers. But the garden was surrounded by a high wall and no one dared go inside there. The garden belonged to a powerful witch, and everyone was scared of her. One day the wife was standing by the window, looking at the witch's garden when she saw a bed o f rapunzel greens. They looked so fresh and lovely, and the wife started to crave some to eat. Each day her craving for the rapunzel grew, until she became pale and sickly and would eat no other food. Then her husband was alarmed and said, What is the ma tter, dear wife?" Ah," answered the wife. "If I can't have some of the rapunzel from the garden behind our house, I will die!" Her husband, who loved her, knew he would have to bring her the rapunzel she wanted, no matter what. At twilight he climbed over the wall into the witch's garden. Quickly, he picked a handful of the rapunzel and took it to his wife. She made a salad and ate it, but she was not satisfied. The taste was so wonderful that she had to have more rapunzel! She cried and begged her husband for it until he agreed to go back into the witch's garden. Again in the twilight the husband set out into the witch's garden. But this time, when he climbed over the wall he saw the witch standing before him. How dare you come into my garden and steal m y rapunzel?" she said angrily. "You will have to suffer for it."


Gender Role 67 The man was terribly afraid. Please take pity on me," said the husband. I had to come into your garden. My wife saw the rapunzel from the window and her craving for it is so great that she will die if she can't have some!" Then the rage left the witch's face and she said, "If what you say is true, I will allow you to take away as much as you want but on one condition. You must give me the child your wife is carrying. I will bring it up as my own and care for it like a mother." The man was so scared, he agreed to give the witch the baby. When the baby was born the witch came for her and gave her the name Rapunzel. As the years went by, Rapunzel grew to be the most beautiful child imagi nable. When she was twelve, the witch took her away and shut her up in a tower, hidden in a forest. The tower had no staircase or doors, only a little window high up in the wall. Each time the witch wanted to come in, she would stand below it and yell to R apunzel: Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your hair." Rapunzel had beautiful, long hair. When she heard the witches voice calling her, she would unfasten her braids and twist them round a hook by the window. Rapunzel's hair would fall down the tall tower an d the witch would climb up on it. One day, a Prince was riding his horse through the forest and passed close by the tower. As he did, the Prince heard Rapunzel singing a song so lovely that it made the Prince stand still and listen to it. The Prince found the tower, but saw there was no door to go inside. The Prince returned again to the tower. When he did, he saw the witch and


Gender Role 68 hid behind a tree. The witch called out to Rapunzel: Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your hair." Then Rapunzel lowered her hair and the witch climbed up to her. If that is the ladder I have to climb to see her, I will try it," said the Prince to himself And the next day, when it began to grow dark, the Prince went to the tower and cried: Rapunzel, Rapunzel Let down your hair." At once she lowered her hair and the Prince climbed up on it. Rapunzel was terrified! She had never seen a man before. But the Prince was sweet and gentle, and told her how beautiful her song was. Rapunzel lost her fear. The Prince asked Rapunzel if she wou ld marry him. She thought the Prince was handsome and kind, so she said yes, He will love me better than old Mother Gothel does," said Rapunzel to herself. I will gladly go with you," said Rapunzel to the Prince. You must bring me a piece of rope when you come every evening so I can make a ladder to get out of this tower. As soon as it is long enough I will come down on it and we will ride away on your horse." The witch knew nothing about the Prince until one day Rapunzel said to her, "Tell me, Mother G othel, why do you climb so much slower than the young Prince?" Oh, you wicked child!" cried the witch. "I thought I had separated you from all the world, but you have deceived me."


Gender Role 69 The witch was so angry she grabbed Rapunzel's beautiful hair, twisted it a round her hand, and cut it off with a pair of scissors. Ending I The witch took poor Rapunzel into the wilderness and abandoned her there. In the evening the witch returned to the tower and fastened Rapunzel's hair onto a hook by the window. She waited until the Prince came and called: Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your hair." The witch threw Rapunzel's long hair down the tower. The prince climbed up, and there, hiding beneath the window, was the witch! Ah," she cried the witch, "you have come to fetch your love. But the pretty bird has flown from her nest and she can sing no more. Rapunzel is lost to you. You will never see her again!" The Prince fell from the tower and landed in a bush of thorns. The thorns pierced the Prince's eyes and made him g o blind. The Prince wandered for years in the wilderness. He cried and wandered the forest blindly, eating nothing but roots and berries he would find on the ground. One day, the Prince wandered into the wilderness where Rapunzel was living. The Prince heard a clear, sweet voice and it seemed so familiar to him that he went toward it. Rapunzel knew it was the Prince at once, and fell on her knees. She started to cry over the Prince. Two of her tears fell into the Prince's eyes, and his eyes grew clear ag ain so he could see all that was before him.


Gender Role 70 Then he took Rapunzel back to his kingdom, where they were greeted by the kingdom's people. And the Prince and Rapunzel lived happily ever after. THE END Ending II Mother Gothel grabbed Rapunzel to take her t o the wilderness. What are you doing? Where are you taking me?" cried Rapunzel. To the wilderness!" said the witch. Just then, Rapunzel had an idea. She thought of a plan that would allow her to not get lost in the wilderness. Rapunzel would take some f ood with her and leave a small trail of food behind her, leading back to the tower. She said to Mother Gothel: Mother Gothel, I will be hungry and alone in the wilderness. I will starve to death! Can I please take some bread with me? I will be so hungry, and a few loaves of bread will help me stay alive and not starve to death." Even though the witch was furious with Rapunzel, she still loved her like a daughter. She didn't want Rapunzel to die. The witch let Rapunzel take a few loaves of bread with her in to the wilderness. Without the witch noticing, Rapunzel left a tiny trail of bread crumbs along their journey. Once the witch left her, Rapunzel followed the trail of bread crumbs back to the tower. Rapunzel hid behind the tree and watched the witch from a distance. When the sun went down, she saw the young Prince come to the tower. He called out:


Gender Role 71 Rapunzel, Rapunzel Let down your hair." The witch threw Rapunzel's hair down the tall tower. The Prince started to climb up the tower. But Rapunzel ran up to th e Prince before he climbed very far. She grabbed onto the Prince and warned him about the witch. The old wicked witch had thrown Rapunzel's hair down to the Prince, and hidden beneath the window to scare the Prince and make him fall down the tall tower. The Prince recognized Rapunzel's heroic gesture. If it wasn't for Rapunzel, the Prince would have climbed up the tower and fallen into the witch's trap. The Prince and Rapunzel ran away from the tower, got on his horse, and rode together to the Prince's ki ngdom. There, the Prince and Rapunzel were greeted by the entire kingdom. And they lived happily ever after. THE END


Gender Role 72 Appendix C List of Occupations Used in Flashcard Task, Their Gender Association, and Test Trial Occupations Gender Association Pre test or Experimental Test Trial Police Officer Male Experimental Fire fighter Male Experimental Scientist Male Experimental Doctor Male Experimental Secretary Female Experimental Teacher Female Experimental Nurse Female Experimental Writer Neutr al Experimental Mail Carrier Neutral Experimental Babysitter Neutral Experimental Veterinarian Neutral Pres test


Gender Role 73 Appendix D List of Items Used in Flashcard Task, Their Gender Association, and Test Trial Item Gender Association Pre test or Experimental Test Trial Trucks Male Experimental Shovel Male Experimental Boxing Gloves Male Experimental Tool Set Male Experimental Heavy Weights Male Experimental Hair Brush Female Experimental Mirror Female Experimental Dolls Female Experimen tal Cooking Set Female Experimental Lipstick Female Experimental Comb Neutral Pre test


Gender Role 74 Appendix E Experimenter to Children Desired occupations. Children were asked individually about their desired future occupations, before and after the two story books were read to them. The experimenter asked:"What do you want to be when you grow up?" If the child said he or she did not know, the experimenter encouraged the child to answer the question by replying: "You can be anything you would like. A nything, anything at all." Answers will be recorded. If the child named two occupations, he or she was encouraged to pick only one. If the child failed to provide a response for the occupations, suggestions were provided. The answers, a long with a notifi cation that this prompt was used, were recorded. "You could be anything. Anything at all. An astronaut, a singer, a veterinarian, a cowboy, a lawyer. What kind of job would you like to have?" Flashcard task. When explaining the flashcard task to the child ren, the experimenter said: I am going to ask you to play a little game with me. I am going to put those big cards out in front of you, and lay them right here." The experimenter pointed to the table or floor space where the cards were going to be laid o ut. The experimenter showed the child each of the three cards, one by one, and explained what was written on them. "You see these cards? This one says 'Man,' this one says 'Woman,' and this one says 'Both.' The card that says 'Both' means both man and wom an." The experimenter laid the cards out in front of the child. "Now, I am going to put a stack of flashcards in front of you. Each flashcard has a word and some pictures on it. I want you to put that flashcard on top of one of the three big cards I showed you before that said, 'Man,'


Gender Role 75 'Woman,' or 'Both.' You are to put the flashcard with the word and the picture on the big card you think best fits or describes the flashcard. If you do not know the word, I will read it aloud to you and explain its meaning." Experimenter explained the meaning of the word "can" in this context. Can meant having the ability to do or learn to do the jobs" (Garret, Ein, and Tremaine, 1977, p. 509). The children were not asked to answer in terms of who actually does or performs t he job, but who "can" perform this occupation. The following script was read for all occupation flashcards: "Who do you think can [has the ability to] be [each of the 10 example occupations]?" (Garret, Ein, Tremaine, 1977, p. 509). All occupations were fol low by a one sentence descriptions of the job (Garret, Ein, Tremaine, 1977). The following script was read for item flashcards: "Who do you think can [has the ability to] use [each of the 10 example items]?" A practice trial using one occupational card and one item card was performed to make sure the child understood the task. The experimenter used a comb as the example item flashcard, and veterinarian as the example occupation flashcard. "We are going to practice this to make sure you understand. Okay?" T he researcher waited until the child signaled he or she was ready to begin the practice trial. "For example, this card says veterinarian. See? This card says comb." The child was shown the cards by the experimenter. I want you to put the veterinarian car d on top of the big card you think best fits or describes a veterinarian. Who do you think can be a veterinarian? A man? A woman? Or both, a man or a woman?" The child performed the task with the occupational card at hand. "I want you to do


Gender Role 76 the same with the card that says comb. Who do you think can use a comb? A man? A woman? Or both? Put the card on top of the big card you think best fits or describes the kind of person that can use a comb." The child was asked if he/she understood the task, what he/she needed to do, and if he/she had any questions. "Did you understand the task? Did you understand what you need to do?" Once the child signaled he/she understood the task, the real test begun. "Now you will do the same task you just performed with the vete rinarian and comb cards, but with a different set of cards. I want you to do the same thing. Put the flashcard with the word and pictures on top of the big card 'Man,' 'Woman,' or 'Both' that best describes or fits the card with the word and pictures on it Remember, if you do not know what the word means, I will read it and explain it to you. Do you have any questions?" Once the child signaled he or she had no questions, the experimenter continued. "We can start when you tell me you are ready." When the ch ild signaled he or she was ready, the flashcard task began. Teachers to Children "I am going to read you a book. This book has two endings. I am going to read the story and both endings. First, I will read you Ending 1, and then Ending 2. After the second ending, I will tell you which ending I liked best. Then, I am going to ask you what ending you liked best. A piece of paper and a sticker will be handed out to you. The piece of paper will have two boxes. One box will say 'Ending 1' and the other 'Ending 2.' You are to put the sticker in the box belonging to the ending you liked best. If you liked the first ending better, put your sticker inside the little box under the label that says 'Ending


Gender Role 77 1.' If you liked the second ending better, put your sticker ins ide the box under the label that says 'Ending 2.' Do you understand?" The teacher and experimenter waited until all the children signaled that they understood the instruction. After this, the teacher began reading the first story. Once the story was finis hed, the teacher said: "I liked Ending [assigned ending]. What ending did you like better? Put your sticker inside the box of the ending you liked best." The teacher then told the students about the second book she was going to read, and gave them instru ctions for that. "Now, I am going to read you another book. This book also has two endings. I am going to read Ending 1 first, and then Ending 2. After the second ending, I am going to ask you what ending you liked best. This time, I am not going to say wh ich ending I liked better. I want you to put the sticker inside the box of the ending you liked best. Do you have any questions?" After all the students signaled they understood the instructions, another pice of paper with two boxes labeled "Ending 1" and "Ending 2" were handed out to the children, along with a sticker for each child. Once every child had received a paper and sticker, the teacher began reading the second story. Once the teacher was one done with the story, she said: "What ending did you li ke better? Ending 1 or Ending 2? Put your sticker inside the box of the ending you liked best." Once all the answers were collected from the children, the children were asked about their desired future occupation by the experimenter, and asked to particip ate in the flashcard task.