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“PAL can Just be themself”: Children in the US respond to Annedroids’ genderless TV character
Department of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, USA.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3738-199X
Salem State University, USA.
Responsible organisation
2017 (English)In: Beyond the Stereotypes?: Images of Boys and Girls, and their Consequences, Yearbook 2017 / [ed] Lemish, Dafna, & Maya Götz, Gothenburg: Nordicom, University of Gothenburg , 2017, p. 225-236Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The innovative Canadian children’s program Annedroids introduces viewers to “PAL,” a human-like android, whom a child scientist named Anne programmed to choose its own gender. Viewers witness PAL’s explorations of what girlhood or boyhood would mean, culminating in PAL’s series-finale decision to eschew a binary gender identity and “just be me”. While some research has examined counter-stereotypical characters’ influence on children’s thinking, the impact of characters actively constructing gender identities is unknown. To address this gap, we showed twenty-one children (ages 8 to 10) in the US selected Annedroids segments highlighting PAL’s gender exploration. We identified themes in their reactions to PAL’s characterization and tracked their reactions to PAL’s decision, measuring the flexibility of their attitudes about gender before and after viewing. We found that children who believed PAL should choose a gender (as opposed to those comfortable with PAL remaining ungendered) showed increased flexibility in thinking about gender after viewing the selected clips.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gothenburg: Nordicom, University of Gothenburg , 2017. p. 225-236
National Category
Media and Communications Gender Studies
Research subject
Media; Children and young people; Gender equality
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-12010Libris ID: 22693835ISBN: 978-91-87957-76-5 ISBN: 978-91-87957-77-2 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:norden-12010DiVA, id: diva2:1535890
Available from: 2021-03-09 Created: 2021-03-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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