TV Shows That Defy Gender Stereotypes

There are so many ways to be a kid, and research has proven that it's important for kids of all ages and identities to see themselves reflected in the media they view, especially when it comes to gender. Our own research review shows that these messages influence kids as early as preschool, which makes it even clearer that it's important to look for positive gender portrayals in our kids' media. On television, it can be difficult to find girls and boys (and men and women!) who defy gender stereotypes. Luckily, we've got lots of picks that offer balanced and positive gender representations, from tween boys cementing friendships in Stranger Things to pint-sized girl bosses leading Odd Squad's math problem-solving agency. For even more great choices for your family, check out these lists: Movies That Defy Gender Stereotypes, Positive Role Model TV for Girls, and TV That's Good for Boys.

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TV

The Doc Is In

age 2+

Cute special encourages healthy habits like handwashing.

Network: Disney Junior, YouTube (2020)
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Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Poster Image
TV

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

age 3+

Excellent lessons from Mister Rogers' next generation.

Network: PBS Kids (2012)
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Pinkalicious & Peterrific: Cupid Calls It Quits Poster Image
TV

Pinkalicious & Peterrific: Cupid Calls It Quits

age 3+

Sweet preschool Valentine special spreads love, gratitude.

Network: PBS Kids (2021)
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Sofia the First Poster Image
TV

Sofia the First

age 3+

Spunky, well-rounded princess celebrates individuality.

Network: Disney Channel, Disney Junior (2012)
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TV

Trash Truck

age 3+

Gentle preschool buddy tale celebrates imagination.

Network: Netflix (2020)
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Doc McStuffins Poster Image
TV

Doc McStuffins

age 4+

Excellent preschool series has positive messages for kids.

Network: Disney Junior (2012)
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TV

Julie's Greenroom

age 4+

Delightful series teaches young kids about performance arts.

Network: Netflix (2017)
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TV

Annedroids

age 5+

STEM learning, positive role models in well-rounded series.

Network: Amazon Prime Video (2013)
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TV

Dot.

age 5+

Charming series strikes perfect balance between life, tech.

Network: Universal Kids (2016)
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TV

Odd Squad

age 5+

Lively mixed-media series solves mysteries with math skills.

Network: PBS Kids (2014)
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TV

Super Sema

age 5+

Fun Africa-set STEM superhero series has great role models.

Network: YouTube (2021)
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TV

WordGirl

age 5+

Brainy heroine uses vocab to outwit bad guys.

Network: PBS Kids (2007)
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TV

The Kicks

age 6+

Book-inspired series scores with excellent tween role model.

Network: Amazon Prime Video (2016)
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TV

On Pointe

age 6+

Inspiring docuseries follows kids with ballet pro dreams.

Network: Disney+ (2020)
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TV

Project Mc2

age 7+

Whiz kids break stereotypes, make being smart cool.

Network: Netflix (2015)
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TV

Hyperlinked

age 8+

Strong female roles in enjoyable website-inspired series.

Network: YouTube Premium (2017)
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TV

The Legend of Korra

age 8+

Strong heroine, positive messages make great fantasy series.

Network: Nickelodeon (2012)
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TV

Assembly Required

age 9+

Maker competition has mild language and insults.

Network: History (2021)
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TV

Andi Mack

age 10+

Heartwarming, diverse coming-of-age story best for tweens.

Network: Disney Channel (2017)
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How It Feels to Be Free Poster Image
TV

How It Feels to Be Free

age 10+

Clear-eyed docu celebrates talented women facing racism.

Network: PBS (2021)
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