Gender and Racial Stereotypes in Daily Newspaper Comics: A Time-Honored Tradition?
This study was designed to examine gender and minority roles in daily newspaper comics. Fifty comics from four daily newspapers were sampled during a month-long period. Gender roles were found to be stereotypical; women were underrepresented, more likely than men to be married and have children, and not as likely as men to have a job. More attention was paid to women's appearance, and female characters, when they did work, had lower job status than did male characters. Activities and behaviors were also divided along gender lines. Female characters did more of the domestic work such as child care and household chores, and male characters did more yard work. Female characters were more verbally aggressive, and most of the physical aggression was confined to “adult dramas” where men dominated. Minorities were basically nonexistent, save for a few strips that included or focused upon African Americans.