Constructing gender using visual imagery: A study of early readers

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Children's books play a key role in shaping children's gender perceptions and expectations. Noting the paucity of gender research on children's books published in Asian societies, especially in relation to visuals, this study seeks to explore how the two sexes are visually represented in a popular English book series developed by the Education Bureau of Hong Kong, from experiential and interpersonal perspectives. The findings show increased female appearances, but not so in central role construal. Stereotypical descriptions are not uncommon: males are generally described as more individualistic than females. Apparent gender differences in child-father/mother relationship are also evident. It is recommended that visual and critical literacy should be strengthened among readers and writers in the process of achieving gender equality. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalLanguage and Communication
Early online date18 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


Lee, J. F. K., & Chin, A. C. O. (2021). Constructing gender using visual imagery: A study of early readers. Language and Communication, 78, 1-18. doi: 10.1016/j.langcom.2021.01.005


  • Children's books
  • Critical literacy
  • Equality
  • Gender
  • Hong Kong
  • Visual literacy


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