Thesis

The effects of gender roles in children's literature on book preference and reading comprehension in the primary grades

This study investigates the effect of gender roles in children's literature on book preference and reading comprehension in primary students. Ten girls and nine boys from one third grade classroom participated in the study and completed a questionnaire, a reading log, and an interview in order to determine whether the representation of male and female characters affect their book choice and comprehension level. Research results indicate the following: boys generally expressed a dislike for books about female characters while females tended to enjoy stories about both genders; boys and girls tended to choose books based on genre and interest; and more than half of the participants felt they understood a story more when both genders were represented. Keywords: gender roles, book preferences, literary genres, gender stereotypes, reading comprehension, primary students

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