The present study examines how gender is represented in the visuals (or illustrations) of two English Language textbook series used in most primary schools in Hong Kong. Instead of conducting frequency counts of the occurrence of male and female characters in illustrations or the spheres of activities they engaged in as in previous textbook studies, this study involves qualitative analyses of how visualised male and female characters are represented in the selected illustrations of the analysed textbook series in terms of their hair length and clothing. The results show that human females were more often portrayed having long hair than short hair and wearing dresses than trousers in both line drawings and photographs. For the colour of clothing, although blue and pink are generally considered ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ colours respectively, less than half and only a small percentage of the human males and females were portrayed wearing blue and pink respectively. For non-human characters, again, colour is not always a reliable cue to their sex. Yet, they can be recognised as males and females by the generally accepted ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ colour and clothing items. Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
CitationYang, C. C. R. (2016). Are males and females still portrayed stereotypically? Visual analyses of gender in two Hong Kong primary English Language textbook series. Gender and Education, 28(5), 674-692.
- Gender representation
- English language
- Hong Kong
- Human and non-human characters