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Children’s preference for cartoons and its relation with gender stereotype

Grant number: 16/16887-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2016
Effective date (End): October 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Human Development Psychology
Principal researcher:Débora de Hollanda Souza
Grantee:Mariana Viviani
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The literature on gender development has focused more on the effects of gender stereotypes on socialization processes than the development of gender concept itself. Developmental Psychology is an area that investigates gender development from many theoretical perspectives, some of which emphasize the role of environment, one example being the media. Considering the relevance of studies on the role of media in this developmental process, the present research proposal aims to investigate whether preschool children's preferences for short films/cartoons are associated with their level of gender stereotyping. Additionally, the study will investigate whether children generalize these preferences to non-familiar short films/cartoons. Forty-eight 4- and 5-year-old children (24 girls and 24 boys) will participate in the study. The following instrument will be used: (a) the POAT scale, which measures the level of gender stereotyping in preschoolers, (b) a semi-structured interview to assess children's preferred choices for the cartoons, (c) a procedure to assess paired-choice preferences using nine non-popular short films (directed toward the general audience), three of which were directed to boys, three to girls and three were gender neutral. The hypothesis is that participants with higher scores on the POAT scale will be more likely to choose the cartoon consistent with his or her gender. This study may contribute to research on gender stereotypes and, more broadly, to the planning of future interventions focused on prevention of gender discrimination. (AU)

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