Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Rodriguez, Jen

Author's Keywords

Gender; Animated film; Sociology; Children; Gender schema; Development


Sex role in motion pictures; Stereotypes (Social psychology); Sex role in children


The purpose of this study was to investigate the gender stereotyping of two animated films by boys and girls (N=25). Based on Bern's (1983) gender schema theory, it was hypothesized that children would stereotype Aladdin as being for males and Pocahontas as being for females, based on the gender of the lead character. Interviews with participants (five to six years old) revealed that they did not gender stereotype the two films. A majority of both boys and girls liked the two films and felt they were for boys and girls. However, they did not think a girl could rescue another girl when asked to imagine different plot scenarios. They were more likely to believe a boy could save another boy. This study demonstrated that boys and girls relied on gender schemas in their interpretation of animated film.