Date of Graduation

Fall 2023


Master of Science in Early Childhood and Family Development


Early Childhood and Family Development

Committee Chair

Elizabeth King


The current study examines patterns of gender representation through three categories (distribution, presentation, and stereotyped behaviors) in children’s media and how these patterns relate to preschool-aged girls’ internalized beliefs about gender. Both historical and presently available children’s media tends to display high levels of stereotypical gender representation. By preschool age, children have already developed distinctions between boys and girls, and hold internalized beliefs regarding gender. The objective of the current study is to examine the relationship between these two factors. To accomplish this, preschool-aged girls were interviewed to assess their internalized beliefs about gender. Their caregivers completed questionnaires related to their household’s demographics, media usage, and gender representation in the children’s media being viewed. Analyses demonstrated patterns suggesting a relationship between stereotypical gender representation in children's media and stereotypical internalized beliefs about gender in preschool-aged girls. The current study suggests a need for further research on the topic, as well as a greater number of counter-stereotypical representations of media in available children’s media.


gender, children’s media, internalized beliefs, preschool, girls, gender presentation, gender distribution, gender-stereotyped behaviors

Subject Categories

Development Studies | Early Childhood Education | Gender and Sexuality


© Jessica Lindsey Kanne Atkins

Open Access