Gender and Childhood

Anna Mae Duane

in Childhood Studies

ISBN: 9780199791231
Published online August 2012 | | DOI:
Gender and Childhood

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The organization of this bibliography reflects the evolving, often contradictory state of scholarly work on childhood and gender. As in adult scholarship in gender studies, scholars constellate around two different perspectives, even as they acknowledge the points of overlap and exchange between them. Many scholars, particularly in the social sciences and education, are dedicated to charting the powerful and often damaging effects of gender expectations on children. Scholars working in queer and cultural studies often take a different approach, drawing on a host of cultural, literary, and historical sources to illustrate how children are shaped by, but can also transcend, gender norms. This bibliography seeks to acknowledge the productive tensions that are emerging in studies of childhood and gender by including sources that examine gender as it emerges in a variety of fields (e.g., education, literature, and adoption studies) and by including sources under the useful but perhaps problematic division of work into girlhood studies; boyhood studies; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies. As many of the sources cited here indicate, there is a vibrant and valid set of arguments that the study of gender in childhood should remain under the larger rubric of childhood studies. To do otherwise, to separate children out by gender, to draw attention to the workings of gender, runs the risk of imposing the very gendered dualisms on children that scholars seek to undo. Overall, this bibliography includes examples of various permutations of study in childhood and gender, with specific texts focusing on “girl” and “boy” studies that chart the demands of gender indoctrination, as well as more theoretical texts that argue that such binaries simply reinforce damaging stereotypes.

Article.  7914 words. 

Subjects: Development Studies

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