Although females comprise 51% of the population, they are represented in less than that amount in children's literature. Psychologists and leaders of liberation groups affirm that gender stereotyping in children's books has detrimental effects on children's perception of women's roles. Therefore, illustrated children's books that view women positively can be used to eliminate these stereotypes. Eighty-three Notable Books for Children from 1995 to 1999 were analyzed for gender of main character, illustrations, and title. This research updated LaDow's content analysis method and revealed that contrary to earlier studies, steps toward equity have advanced based on the increase in females represented as the main character (S. LaDow, 1979). Although female representation has greatly improved since the 70s, gender stereotypes are still prevalent in children's literature.
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Gooden, A.M., Gooden, M.A. Gender Representation in Notable Children's Picture Books: 1995–1999. Sex Roles 45, 89–101 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1013064418674