Our research question also asks how stereo-typically unattractive females are represented in popular children’s television shows aired from 2005 to 2015 on Disney and Nickelodeon. We chose Disney and Nickelodeon knowing that these two television networks were major players in children’s television during these years, and thus should provide us with plenty of material to study. We derived this topic from our study of articles which discussed how female characters are portrayed through various characteristics in children’s television shows. Peer reviewed articles in our studies discovered that appearance was important to female characters on children’s shows, as they were on average more attractive than their male counterparts (Gerding). This importance of appearance was also found in another study which discovered that “tomboy’s” eventually experience a change or makeover in order to become “better” women (Chandler). These findings peaked an interest in whether the attractiveness of females is prioritized across many shows.
We feel as though this is an important topic to study because children’s television shows can have large effects on kids perceptions of gender roles in their future life. This was proven by many studies that found that the young target audience can be highly receptive to these shows as they are at an age in which they are constantly learning. A greater understanding of the flaws in gender representation can lead to beneficial changes in children’s shows which may instill a positive understanding of gender in our young generations.
Chandler, E. (2016). “I never wanted to be an ashley!” androcentrism and gender entitlement in disney’s recess. Gender Issues, 33(2), 148-162. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12147-016-9154-9
Gerding, Ashton, and Nancy Signorielli. “Gender Roles in Tween Television Programming: A Content Analysis of Two Genres.” Sex Roles, vol. 70, no. 1-2, 2013, pp. 43–56., doi:10.1007/s11199-013-0330-z.