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Dr. Malcom Publishes Research on Gender in Children’s Books

Congratulations to Dr. Nancy Malcom on the publication of her article From William’s Doll to Jacob’s New Dress: The Depiction of Gender Non-Conforming Boys in Children’s Picture Books From 1972 to 2014. The article, which Dr. Malcom co-authored with Dr. Nicole Sheahan can be read now in the Journal of Homosexuality. Read the articles abstract below to find out more:

Charlotte Zolotow’s 1972 storybook William’s Doll introduced us to a young boy who wanted nothing more than a baby doll of his own to hug, cuddle, and love. Since that time other children’s picture books featuring gender non-conforming boys have been published, telling stories about boys who dance, cook, and prefer to wear dresses. This qualitative research examines 20 of these books, published between 1972 and 2014. We analyze the themes and messages found in these books, paying particular attention to how the portrayals have changed over time. Research findings focus on historical shifts in the ways that gender non-conformity is depicted, the role that parents and peers play in these books, and how the books frame gender non-conformity as a problem that needs to be resolved.


Posted in Faculty, Publications, Sociology