Abstract 3- Volume 5, Number 3, Winter 2010

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 5, Number 3, Winter 2010



A gender analysis of NCSS Notable Picture Book winners: 2006-2008

Kay A. Chick
Timothy D. Slekar
Eric P. Charles
Pennsylvania State University Altoona


This study provides a gender analysis of National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade picture book selections suitable for the primary grades from the years 2006-2008. The study examines the number of male and female characters and the presence, or absence of, gender stereotypes relative to characters’ personalities, occupations, and behaviors. Results indicate a significant difference in the number of male and female characters, with many more male characters represented. Both males and females frequently performed stereotypical jobs or roles, with no books depicting males in lower status jobs than females. In books with only female main characters, some women were able to cross traditional gender lines and demonstrate strong personalities. Of the 17 predetermined behaviors in which characters engaged throughout these books, seven of them showed significant differences between males and females. Males were more likely to participate in sports, fight in battles or demonstrate aggressive behaviors, pursue worthy causes such as heroism, use television/computer/radio, and earn a living. Females were more likely to perform domestic chores and demonstrate affection or emotion.

Key Words: Gender, Gender stereotypes, National Council for the Social Studies, Notable Trade books, Picture books

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