Are Disney Princesses Hurting Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem?

Snow White, Cinderella and the rest of the Disney Princess gang have some explaining to do.

Disney Characters during The Princess Diaries Premiere at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.
Disney Characters during The Princess Diaries Premiere at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

new study from Brigham Young University found that engaging with Disney princess culture could make young children more susceptible to gender stereotypes.

The small study, by family-life professor Sarah M. Coyne, looked at how much 198 preschoolers interacted with Disney princesses—through movies, toys and merchandise—and then assessed their behavior through reports from parents and teachers and a task in which the children were asked to rank their favorite toys among stereotypical “girl” options such as dolls, stereotypical “boy” options such as tool sets and gender-neutral options such as puzzles.

The researches found that 96% of girls and 87% of boys had viewed Disney princess media, and more than 61% of girls played with princess toys at least once a week, compared to 4% of boys. For both boys and girls, engagement with Disney princesses was associated with more female gender-stereotypical behavior a year later.

(Article originally appeared in Time)

You may also like