Children’s books could consolidate gender stereotypes during development

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University concluded in a study that children’s books may help fuel gender stereotypes.

The study appeared in Psychological Science.

The study began by researchers analyzing over 240 children’s books devoted to those 5 years old and younger from the Wisconsin Children’s Book Corpus.

Researchers noted that the books with female protagonists contained more gendered language compared to the books with male protagonists.

They also found that children’s books contained more gender stereotypes than fictional books made for adults.

According to the findings, researchers have found that “books with gendered language were centered around the protagonist in the story. Female-associated words focused on affection, school-related words and communication verbs, like explained and listened. Meanwhile, male-associated words focused more on professions, transportation and tools.”

“Our data are only part of the story—so to speak,” said one contributing author of the study.

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