The rise of the androgynous princess: examining representations of gender in prince and princess characters of Disney movies released 2009–2016

Hine, Ben ORCID:, England, Dawn, Lopreore, Katie, Skora Horgan, Elizabeth and Lisa, Hartwell (2018) The rise of the androgynous princess: examining representations of gender in prince and princess characters of Disney movies released 2009–2016. Social Sciences, 7 (12). p. 245. ISSN 2076-0760

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Previous quantitative research examining Disney movies has highlighted that whilst prince characters display largely balanced gender profiles, princesses exhibit biased gender role portrayals—performing mostly feminine characteristics, rarely participating in rescue behavior, and concluding movies in romantic relationships with the prince. However, such research, as well as public commentary, has also suggested that princess characters in movies released across the 2000s and 2010s may have more positive gender role portrayals. This study aimed to test these assertions by utilizing content coding analysis to examine the behavioral characteristics, rescue behavior, and romantic conclusions of prince and princess characters in five iconic Disney films released between 2009 and 2016 (The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Brave (released under Pixar), Frozen, and Moana). Comparisons were also made with earlier titles to assess historical changes. Results showed that princesses in “2000s to 2010s” movies exhibited an almost equal number of masculine and feminine behaviors, thus demonstrating more egalitarian profiles over time. In contrast, princes appeared to adopt a more feminine behavioral profile in later movies. In addition, characters engaged in equal numbers of rescue behaviors, and princesses were more likely to remain single in “2000s to 2010s” movies. Results therefore suggest that Disney is indeed presenting more diverse, androgynous, balanced characters to viewers, and the theoretical and practical implications for the socialization of young child viewers are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.3390/socsci7120245
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
Keywords: Disney; princess; prince; gender roles; content coding analysis; children’s media
Subjects: Psychology
Depositing User: Ben Hine
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2019 08:23
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:59


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