Joan A. Bucy

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Shereen Bingham


This study assess male and female sex-role stereotyping in children's storybooks. Ten Caldecott and 10 Golden Sower Book selections from 1986 to 1995 are examined for the number of female and male lead characters; occupations, gender roles and personality traits of the main characters; the realism of character roles and storylines; and the contributions that the main character made to society. The analyst indicates that there are fewer female than male characters in the story books, that lead characters are often shown in traditional occupations and gender roles, and that female lead characters are generally shown in exotic roles and storylines. However, both male and female lead characters are depicted with masculine and desirable personality traits. In addition, female lead characters contributed to society more than males. The results indicate that almost all of the books contain sexist and nonsexist elements, suggesting little change in children story books since research published in the 1980s.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1997 Joan A. Bucy.

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