Welcome to Homepage of
Gender and Children's Literature
What do you consider when choosing children’s books? An attractive book cover, beautiful illustrations, an interesting story, the vocabulary, the grade level, the price, the book size? Do you consider how male and female characters are represented in the story?
Early children’s books can have very important effects in the transmission of gender roles. The language use, the gender relations depicted, and the ways in which female and male characters are presented textually and visually will allow young children to learn societal expectations of boys and girls. Any stereotyped portrayals and underrepresentation of female/male characters in particular roles may influence children’s personality development, their education and career aspirations, and their attitudes towards themselves and others. However, the impact of reading materials on children’s gender development is often neglected when teachers and parents select books for children.
This website aims to heighten gender awareness among educators, parents, book producers and readers in an attempt to create a more gender equal society. There are activities to test your gender awareness, and we have also developed two sets of guidelines. One is for teachers and parents on how to choose children’s books, as well as how to present the two sexes fairly to redress any unequal representations in existing books. The other set is for book producers, to encourage them to initiate changes during the production of new book series in order to create a more gender-fair story world. There is also a selection of non-traditional books that challenge gender biases, and our students’ work at this website. Enjoy browsing!
Gender (In)equality News
Gender Awareness Test
Students' Work about Gender Readers
Greg and Freda the Frog
Guidelines for Stakeholders
This website was supported by a grant from The Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong (Project No. EdUHK 18602217).
We would like to express our gratitude to the Advisory Teaching Team of the Native-speaking English Teacher Section of the Education Bureau, Hong Kong for granting us permission to use illustrations from the Primary Literacy Programme – Reading and Writing in this project.