How Societal Changes Have Influenced German Children's Gender Representations as Expressed in Human Figure Drawings in 1977 and 2015

Autor(en): Lamm, Bettina
Gernhardt, Ariane
Ruebeling, Hartmut
Stichwörter: Children's drawings; Gender equality; Gender representation; Psychology; Psychology, Developmental; Psychology, Social; Societal change; Women's Studies
Erscheinungsdatum: 2019
Journal: SEX ROLES
Volumen: 81
Ausgabe: 1-2
Startseite: 118
Seitenende: 125
We investigated German first graders' gender representations in human figure drawings done in 1977 and 2015. We hypothesized that increasing gender-status equality in society as well as growing gender differentiation in childcare and marketing are reflected in depictions of the human figure. Drawings were collected from a total of 376 children between 5years 10months and 8years of age. Overall, the results are in accordance with the hypotheses: In contrast to 1977, the proportion of male and female figures was more balanced in 2015. In 2015, more girls drew a figure of their own gender and the femininity of female figures was higher than in 1977. Unexpectedly, the masculinity of male figures did not increase over this time. These results provide some insight into dynamic changes of children's view of gender roles reflecting societal conditions. Drawings as a nonverbal approach to children's gender representations proved sensitive in research but may also serve as a starting point in social and pedagogical work addressing gender issues. Considering gender status equality and gender specification as independent aspects of gender representations contributes to a better understanding by researchers as well as by practice professionals.
ISSN: 03600025
DOI: 10.1007/s11199-018-0978-5

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