Digital Discovery: A Model for Integrating Digital Interactives During Social Studies Lessons
Dr. Joshua D. DeSantis
This study provides a gender analysis of National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade book selections suitable for the intermediate grades from the years 2006-2008. The study examines the number of male versus female characters and the presence, or absence of, gender stereotypes relative to character personalities, occupations, and behaviors. Results indicate a significant difference in the number of male and female characters, with many more male characters represented. Males frequently performed stereotypical jobs or roles with none of the books depicting males in lower status jobs than females. Some female main characters were portrayed in stereotypical jobs or roles while others were able to cross traditional gender lines and demonstrate strong personalities. Of the 17 predetermined behaviors exhibited by characters throughout these books, six of them showed significant differences between males and females. Males were more likely to engage in physical activity, participate in sports, fight in battles or demonstrate aggressive behaviors, pursue worthy causes such as heroism, and earn a living. Females were more likely to perform domestic chores.