Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Grimm Messages of Sexism, Ageism, and Violence in Children's Books

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

Reading to children has been shown to enhance literacy, but at what cost? Does the mere act of reading to encourage a child's love of books trump a responsibility for appropriate content and moral development? Through a content analysis of themes in children's fairy tales and rhymes, this study examined the effects of selected themes in children's literature. From a father locking his daughter in a tower to then lower her hair and entice men, to the domestic slavery of a girl named Ella, to Briar Rose's drugging, messages of gender stereotypes, ageism, and violence are juxtaposed against positive messages more appropriate for child development. Children's books reinforcing developmentally appropriate values and moral development are reviewed and presented as alternatives to Grimm tales.

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Grimm Messages of Sexism, Ageism, and Violence in Children's Books

Reading to children has been shown to enhance literacy, but at what cost? Does the mere act of reading to encourage a child's love of books trump a responsibility for appropriate content and moral development? Through a content analysis of themes in children's fairy tales and rhymes, this study examined the effects of selected themes in children's literature. From a father locking his daughter in a tower to then lower her hair and entice men, to the domestic slavery of a girl named Ella, to Briar Rose's drugging, messages of gender stereotypes, ageism, and violence are juxtaposed against positive messages more appropriate for child development. Children's books reinforcing developmentally appropriate values and moral development are reviewed and presented as alternatives to Grimm tales.