Research Says Kids’ Books Reinforce Gender Stereotypes. Here’s What To Do About It.

Research Says Kids’ Books Reinforce Gender Stereotypes. Here’s What To Do About It.

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Research Says Kids’ Books Reinforce Gender Stereotypes. Here’s What To Do About It.

Reading aloud is one of the best things parents can do for their young kids ― teaching them about the world and themselves, and even changing the structural makeup of their brains.

But a new study serves as a stark reminder that the “what” and the “how” matter. When researchers analyzed 247 books for children up to age 5 (including a mix of the bestsellers and titles pulled from “best of all time” lists), they found evidence of many gender stereotypes ― for example, that girls are better at language and boys are better at math.

Many stories also employ gendered language and concepts. When girls are the protagonists, books are more likely to use words that convey affection, or to contain words like “explain” and “listen.” When boys are the protagonists, plots and language tend to focus more on work, transportation and tools.

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