Despite improvements in the past decade, gender inequality is still pronounced in the United Kingdom and across the world. For instance, in every Western society women earn less than men (Balu, 2016). This inequality is perpetuated by stereotypes about women’s abilities. Women are more readily perceived to be passive, whereas men are stereotypically agentic and dominant. Parents play an essential role in the development of gendered beliefs in children, with research showing that parental beliefs about gender predict their child’s beliefs well into adulthood (Moen et al., 1997). This transmission occurs through several routes. For example, research has found that parents with traditional views of gender expose their sons to sport and reserve emotional conversations for their daughters. These behavioural transmissions may perpetuate stereotypes, but there are other more subtle influences that shape a child’s understanding of gender.
The language and themes of children’s books can reveal a lot about the way gender is perceived. It also gives children ideas about how their gender can expect to influence their future opportunities and expectations.
Thanks to Lincoln’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Scheme, I am currently recruiting for my very first research project. This study uses both qualitative analysis and surveys to investigate how books communicate gendered information.
The first part of the study is a simple word-sorting online activity, and should take about 15 minutes to complete.
To participate, please follow this link and complete the survey
*This study has received ethical clearance from the University of Lincoln.