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Browsing by Subject "päähahmo"

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  • Löyttyjärvi, Kristina (2016)
    Books are frequently used in nurseries. The stories give children examples of gender, gender roles and subject positions. It has been documented in previous studies that female characters are underrepresentated and characters portrayed stereotypically in children’s picture books (e.g. Hamilton, Anderson, Broaddus & Young 2006; McCabe, Fairchild, Grauerholz, Pescocolido & Tope 2011; Sundell 2012; Weitzman, Eifler, Hokada & Ross 1972). In current study I explore gender representation of main characters in Finnish children’s picture books and how the results compare with other studies. In addition I look what differences can be seen at the prevalence of male and female main characters in books from different decades. The data was collected from two nurseries and includes 128 books. Books were divided by the year of publication and the main characters were classified as female (F), male (M), neutral (N) and female and male (F&M). Also pictures that contained only male or female characters were counted. The results were consistent with previous studies. Usually characters were represented stereotypically and there were more male main characters than female main characters except for 1980s when there were more female main characters. Neutral characters were rare. Since 1990s the amount of male main characters has been declining whereas female and male (F&M) character has become more abundant. This might reflect a trend toward parity for main characters. On the other hand there were fewer pictures of female than male characters in books that had both female and male main character showing under-representation of female characters.