Books for Kids Full of Gender Biases, Report Shows

Filed under: In The News, Books for Parents, Research Reveals: Big Kids

books for kids

Books for kids show gender bias. Credit: Getty

It's hard to escape the boy's club -- even when it comes to books for kids.

A new study shows a sizable gender bias when it comes to the last century of children's literature, The New York Times reports, with male heroes (think Curious George, Winnie the Poo and Babar) far outnumbering female characters.


Published in April's Gender and Society journal, the study that looked at almost 6,000 children's books published between 1900 and 2000, found 57 percent featured a main male character, while just 31 percent focused on a female. The other 12 percent are assumed gender-neutral, according to the newspaper.

When it came to central animal characters, 23 percent were male, compared to 7.5 percent female, and, The Times notes, Mother Duck in "Make Way for Ducklings" was the only female animal character to star in a Caldecott-winning book.

If that doesn't have feminists shouting "The sky is falling!", the study also finds that while one-third of each year's kid's books include a main female adult woman or animal character, 100 percent of books feature a male adult or animal.

Madeline, Beezus and the old woman in the shoe might want to caucus.

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