This thesis explores the ways in which alternative day care-givers reinforce and perpetuate cultural and societal stereotypical gender roles by choosing and reading picture books to children. Three day care-givers reading to groups of five- and six-year-old children at The Wee Care Center, Perky's World of Children, and The College of Wooster Nursery School were analyzed using the methodological approach of ethnography. A content analysis of the specific picture books read at each facility determines the visibility of gender constructs found in children's literature, and, interactions between care-givers and children during story time show how these stereotypes are perpetuated. In-depth interviews with each care-giver reveal their beliefs and attitudes towards gender in order to provide a basis for understanding how they interpret information in books during story time. The analysis of data reveals that care-givers perpetuate gender stereotypes by substituting male pronouns for ambiguo"PS characters, by reinforcing societal expectations for males and females, and by accepting existing gender constructs. Future research is suggested so that more can be known about how care-givers influence and reinforce stereotypical gender roles.


Horowitz, Sheryl


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1993 Dorothy A. Tinker