Gender Disparity and Stereotypes in Popular Children’s Animated Films
Sara C. Hare Ph.D; Courtney Hoke

This content analysis examines the parity and stereotyping of male and female characters from the 150 top-grossing (North American) children’s animated films from 1980 to 2018. Results showed that the balance of characters was not equal with males filling more of the lead roles (83.3%), title roles (85.5%), speaking roles (73.3%), and membership in the main gang (72.0%). More than half (55.3%) of the films failed the Bechdel Test, although female-led films were more likely to pass than male-led films. Males were more likely to fill the public roles, with significantly more male characters having jobs/occupations than females. In the parenting role, fathers of the lead characters were more likely to be involved than mothers. The findings from the stereotyping questions were mixed with females more likely to be shown with a sexy body. However, males were not more likely to be brave and heroic (in this case by performing rescues) when the ratio of characters was included in the calculations. These results are upsetting because of the extensive amount of time children spend with media and the worldwide impact of Western-produced films. This disproportionate portrayal of society negatively influences a child’s learning and socialization processes.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijgws.v7n1a8