Watching Gender: How Stereotypes in Movies and on TV Impact Kids' Development

June 19, 2017

Parents Talk About Watching Gender

Media that perpetuates rigid gender roles and stereotypes can affect children's sense of self, relationships, and career aspirations. Our latest research report explores the effects of gender-biased media on children's development so we can promote more positive, accurate gender representations that give kids the freedom they need to be themselves.


Our analysis of media focuses primarily on scholarly research on television and in movies. The research brief is complemented by a national survey of approximately 1,000 parents that explores parents' attitudes toward gender as it's reflected on television and in movies. Take a look at the infographic and read our blog post for highlights.

We can all support gender equity:
As part of the Gender Equity Is Common Sense initiative, Common Sense is creating new tools and strategies to promote positive role models and representations for kids everywhere. Look out for updates to our media ratings that will showcase movies and TV that defy stereotypes, as well as resources that help advance gender equity in the classroom and beyond.

As a parent or caregiver, you can ...
Talk to your children about how boys and girls are portrayed in the media you watch together, and make comments that address and counter stereotypes.

As an educator, you can ...
Bring the conversation about gender representations into the classroom. Our digital-literacy and citizenship tools and lessons help students think critically about gender bias in media.

As a concerned citizen, you can ...
Use our Kids Action advocacy tools to take action on policies that help close the gender gap, including child care, paid leave, paid sick days, and equal pay for equal work.