The Little Mermaid Gender Stereotypes

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Gender is something that is brought to the attention of people well before people are even brought into the world. Take for instance, when a woman finds out that she is pregnant and is about to have a child. The first question that that women is asked is “What are you having?” In doing this we are automatically emphasizing the importance of being able to identify whether or not to buy “boy” things or “girl” things. As a society we deem it important for each sex to practice a set of “norms” of how to behave via that sex. As a man, you are supposed to be dominant, strong, hardworking, provider, and the bread winner. As a woman, you are supposed to be submissive, weak, docile, and nurture. But where and when do these norms on how to behave…show more content…
The Little Mermaid which was produced in 1989, was the first Disney movie to challenge the traditional gender roles, for the fact that Ariel wanted to explore, and was more independent and assertive in her desires than the earlier princesses of the 1930’s and 50s films. Also the prince in The Little Mermaid went against traditional gender roles as well, simply because he was more affectionate and loving than his prince counterparts in other Disney films. “Both the male and female roles have changed over time, but overall the male characters evinced less change then the female characters and were more androgynous throughout.” (Descartes & England, pg.566). Disney movies have been for a long time a strong media target for children, and can serve as a way to address stereotypical gender roles (Leaper, 2000). These studies suggest that children observe gender stereotypes at an early age unintentionally. Since children’s brains are constantly soaking in new information about the world around them, they have to do so in a way that they are seemingly most comfortable. Studies show that children are most comfortable learning from people who are actively in their lives and attractive movie and TV
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