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Are Gender Stereotypes Perpetuated in Children's Magazines? Essay

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Introduction
‘Femininity is associated with traits such as emotionality, prudence, co-operation, a communal sense, and compliance. Masculinity tends to be associated with such traits as rationality, efficiency, competition, individualism and ruthlessness.’ [1]
Despite many changes in equality and social attitudes, gender stereotypes are still common in society and in the English language in general. Children as young as 3 years old start to show signs of gender stereotyping (Martin & Little, 1990). [2] The media in particular can be influential in shaping an individual’s beliefs and ideas. Television plays a large part in leading culture, with its portrayal of men and women in a stereotypical and traditional way. These gender roles are reflected in society, and I want to see if they are embedded in media aimed at children.
I have decided to examine the gender differences in texts and possible reinforcement of gender roles in media other than television. There are thousands of different comics and magazines for young people today. I have chosen to investigate the difference in language between magazines for young boys and those for young girls, aged approximately 4-9 years in both cases. Throughout the investigation I will be analysing grammatical and lexical features of the text and also aspects of pragmatics and graphology. I am looking at graphology as it is an important feature of magazines, due to their visual nature. Also, as the magazines are aimed at children, pictures and titles are likely to be influential. The pragmatics of the text will also be important to find any implied meaning, especially in the form of gender roles and stereotyping. I will look at how these features are used, how often, and how they affect the tex...


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...d feelings and stereotypes such as power and authority.
Conclusion
My research question, 'Are gender stereotypes perpetuated in children's magazines?' has been an interesting investigation. On the whole, it seems that, yes; to some extent, there is reinforcement of stereotypes.
The findings of my investigation conclude that, although perhaps not explicitly, gender stereotypes are being perpetuated to children through magazines.



Works Cited

http://www.homepages.dsu.edu/huenersd/engl101/final%20exam/chandler.htm#E [1] http://ifa.amu.edu.pl/psicl/files/38/07Pawelczyk.pdf [2] http://www.shakesville.com/2008/03/robbing-hearts-of-men.html [3] http://www.uiowa.edu/~c036001e/lakoff.html [4]

http://www.feminish.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Brannon_ch07.pdf

Cheshire, Jenny (2000). The telling or the tale? Narratives and gender in adolescent friendship networks. [5]


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