The gender-role content of children's favorite television programs and its links to their gender-related perceptions

Jennifer Stevens Aubrey, Kristen Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations


Two studies were conducted to (a) examine the gender-role stereotypical, counterstereotypical, and gender-neutral messages contained in a sample of first- and second-grade children's favorite television programs; and(b) to link the results of the content analysis to the children's gender-role values and interpersonal attraction to same- and opposite-gender television characters while the content analysis showed that there was a great deal of gender neutrality in the programs the children preferred. However, as predicted, male characters were still more likely than female characters to answer questions, boss or order others, show ingenuity, achieve a goal, and eat. The results of the survey showed that preference for stereotypical content predicted boys'valuing hard work and humor. In addition, for girls preference for male stereotypical and male counterstereotypical content negatively predicted interpersonal attraction to female characters, whereas preference for female counterstereotypical and gender-neutral content positively predicted interpersonal attraction to female characters. For boys preference for female counterstereotypical content positively predicted interpersonal attraction to male characters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-146
Number of pages36
JournalMedia Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this