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A Content Analysis of Gender Portrayals in Turkish Children’s Picturebooks

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Abstract

The study aims to explore the portrayal of gender and the representation of gender roles in picturebooks written for children aged 3–6 in Turkey, with a view to assessing whether these gender portrayals include gender stereotypes that may affect children from early ages and onwards. It examines 45 children’s picturebooks published in the last 10 years in Turkey and written for children aged 3–6. The texts and illustrations of the selected books are examined thematically in terms of parental activities, other activities of adults, activities of children, and play types and toys using content analysis. The findings demonstrate that, despite significant international trends to tackle gender stereotypes and encourage a gender-neutral representation in children’s picturebooks to enhance gender-conscious child development, the male and female characters in the books are still stereotypically represented in Turkey, parallel to the larger approach to gender equality, perpetuating the traditional understanding of gender roles.

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Notes

  1. Cases where the gender of the main character is non-binary or androgynous were uncommon in the books examined within the scope of the sample. Only two books’ main character’s gender could not be determined and thus, they were not included in the analysis.

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Appendix

Appendix

Book name

Book name

Publication year

Author

Gender of protagonist

Gender of secondary character

Recommended books (include depictions of gender equity)

Açıl Maske Açıl

Open Up Mask, Open Up

2012

Aytül Akal

Female

Female, male

*

Ada’nın Hayal Günlükleri

Ada’s Dream Diaries

2013

Özlem Dağ

Female

Female, male

 

Asla Pes Etme

Never Give Up

2020

Nilüfer Çelebi

Male

Female, male

 

Ayakkabı

Shoe

2014

Ayla Çınaroğlu

Female

Female, male

 

Ayşenaz Ablalık Yapıyor

Ayşenaz Acts Like an Elder Sister

2018

Kübra Çiftçi

Female

Male

 

Ayşe’nin Kilimleri

Ayşe’s Kilims

2020

Sevtap Sarıca

Female

Female

 

Ben Allah’a İnanıyorum

I Believe in God

2017

Demirhan Kadıoğlu

Female

Female

 

Ben Kaybolmam

I Don’t Get Lost

2014

Bengi Semerci

Male

Female

 

Ben Piri Reis

I Am Piri Reis

2018

Eda Can

Male

Female

 

Ben Tek, Siz Hepiniz

I Am One, You Are All

2018

Ezgi Emel

Male

Female

 

Can ve Cansu

Can and Cansu

2017

Hatice Topçu

Male

Female

 

Can’ın Sıkıntısı

Can’s Distress

2020

Dicle Keskinoğlu

Male

Female

 

Cemil’in Gizli Konserleri

Cemil’s Secret Concerts

2015

Serhan Aytan

Male

Male

 

Dağılan Misketler

Scattered Marbles

2017

Tuğba Akbey İnan, Rabia Gülcan Kardaş

Male

Male

 

Dedemin Bisikleti

My Grandfather’s Bicycle

2012

Beyza Derinkol

Female

Male

 

Doğa Doğayı Seviyor

Doğa Loves Nature

2016

Koray Avcı Çakman

Female

Male

 

Dut Yağmuru

Mulberry Rain

2015

Nurefşan Çağlaroğlu

Female

Female

 

Ece Büyüyor/ Odamı Çok Seviyorum

Ece is Growing Up/I Love My Room

2019

Gamze Tuncel Demir

Female

Male

*

Elif’in Kütüphanesi

Elif’s Library

2016

İlhami Ateş

Female

Female, male

 

Elif’in Sevimli Minnoşu

Elif’s Cute Minnoş

2016

İlhami Ateş

Female

Male

 

En Güzel Hediye

The Most Beautiful Gift

2017

Buket Kurt

Female

Female

 

Gül Pazarı Sokağı

Rose Market Street

2015

Nurefşan Çağlaroğlu

Female

Male

 

Hangisi Doğru?

Which One Is Right?

2018

Üstün Dökmen

Male

Female

 

Hep Fazlasıdır Annem

My Mom Always Exceeds

2018

Özge Bahar Sunar

Female

Female

 

Kararsız Kiraz

Indecisive Cherry

2018

Alkım Özalp

Female

Female

 

Kardan Arkadaşım

My Friend from Snow

2017

Esin Bacacı Taner

Male

Female, male

 

Kardeşim Geliyor

My Sibling Is Coming

2018

İrem Polat

Female

Female, male

*

Köfte Pilav

Meatballs with Rice

2015

İlkay Marangoz

Male

Female, male

 

Kural Da Neymiş!

So What’s the Rule!

2018

Ezgi Emel

Male

Female, male

*

Meraklı Çakıl Mutfakta

Curious Çakıl in the Kitchen

2018

Nazlı Deniz Güler

Female

Female

 

Mıymıy Teyze Alışverişte

Aunt Mıymıy Goes Shopping

2017

Aytül Akal

Female

Female

 

Mutlu Park

Happy Park

2013

Tuncel Altınköprü

Male, female

Male, female

 

Ne Zaman Büyüyeceğim?

When Will I Grow Up?

2019

Gülşen Arslan Akça

Male

Male

 

Öğrenme Güçlüğünü Nasıl Yendim?

How I Overcame Learning Difficulties

2013

Bengi Semerci

Female

Female

 

Okula Gitmek İstemiyorum

I Don’t Want to Go to School

2017

Ayşen Oy

Male

Female

 

Oyuncak Ev

Toy House

2017

Tuğba Akbey İnan, Rabia Gülcan Kardaş

Female

Female

 

Peren ile Dedesi

Peren and Her Grandfather is at Home

2018

Pınar Sur

Female

Male

*

Potanın Yıldızı Ben Olmalıyım

The Star of the Court Should Be Me

2020

Ezgi Emel

Male

Male, female

 

Saç Tokası

Hair Clip

2013

Ayla Çınaroğlu

Female

Female

 

Sana Kek Yaptım

I Made a Cake for You

2018

Saniye Bencik Kangal

Male

Male, female

*

Teo’nun Kaka Kitabı

Potty Book of Teo

2014

Yağmur Artukmaç, Pınar Çakır

Male

Female, male

 

Tırnak Yeme Kitabı

Nail Biting Book

2014

Yağmur Artukmaç, Pınar Çakır

Male

Female, male

*

Unutulan Araba

The Forgotten Car

2017

Tuğba Akbey İnan, Rabia Gülcan Kardaş

Male

Female, male

 

Yeşil

Green

2013

Çiğdem Odabaşı

Male

Male

 

Yuyu Hayvan Dostu

Yuyu, the Animal Friend

2016

Yusuf Çopur

Male

Female, male

 

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Peker, A., Aybars, A.İ. A Content Analysis of Gender Portrayals in Turkish Children’s Picturebooks. Early Childhood Educ J (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-023-01598-1

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