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New Study Claims Mr Men And Little Miss Books Are Sexist

If you grew up in the 80's or 90's, or even if you have kids now, you would no doubt be familiar with the hugely popular Mr Men and Little Miss book series written by British author Roger Hargreaves.

These books are still found on bookshelves all over the world, but a new study claims that the books feature 'gender stereotyping' that may be giving impressionable young readers old fashioned and outdated ideas and values.

The study found that the Little Miss characters have to be “saved” in all of the stories more than half the time, while the Mr Men only need saving less than a third of the time.

They also broke down the books page by page and worked out that the male characters speak more in the books as they’re given on average 12 extra words compared to the female characters.

The study believes Hargreaves’ books play to gender stereotypes with characters like Little Miss Bossy.

It highlights texts in the book including: “She managed to find herself the perfect job. She now works for Mr Lazy! She cooks and cleans for him” and “I know what that naughty little lady needs”.

According to the Daily Mail, the study was undertaken by the University of Lincoln and was based on the 47 Mr Men and 34 Little Miss books from 1971 to 2014.

The study concludes: “Generally female characters were more passive, had less direct speech and relied on being saved more than male characters.”

Researcher Madeleine Pownall found that the Little Miss characters spoke an average of 53.5 words per story, while the Mr Men characters had 61.5.

She also discovered that the females were saved by another character in 51.5 per cent of the books, compared with 32.6 per cent for the males.

The popular series of books started with Mr Tickle in 1971 and is aimed at children aged two and older. 

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