Fathers Underepresented in Children's Stories

The very first article I ever had published appeared in Newsweek and was called "Not All Men Are Sly Foxes." It was all about what I perceived to be the negative stereotyping of fathers in children's literature. I spent an entire day in the children's section of my local library talking to the librarians and reading children's books, and found that dads were almost completely absent. In the vast majority of children's books, a mom is the only parent, while the dad—if he appears at all—was much less loving and caring than Mom, co coming home late after work and bouncing baby around for five minutes before putting her to bed. The library had (and still has) a special catalog of children's books with positive female characters—heroines and mothers. As the father of a daughter, I thought that was great. But as a father who was sharing the child-care responsibilities equally, I found it incredibly frustrating and annoying that they didn't have a catalog (or even many books) with positive male role models. Even my three-year-old wanted to know why there weren't more daddies in the books we read.


Father's are either not present at all or under-represented in children's stories, leading to a question of cause and effect.

Folksonomies: fatherhood bias presentation

/family and parenting/children (0.402566)
/art and entertainment/books and literature (0.386034)
/society/social institution/marriage (0.328125)

positive female characters—heroines (0.968948 (positive:0.541008)), male role models (0.954820 (positive:0.206737)), children (0.853673 (negative:-0.236779)), Sly Foxes (0.746357 (negative:-0.256578)), Stories Father (0.737397 (negative:-0.432424)), negative stereotyping (0.722285 (negative:-0.879191)), vast majority (0.688236 (neutral:0.000000)), child-care responsibilities (0.688224 (neutral:0.000000)), local library (0.640873 (positive:0.246346)), special catalog (0.615395 (positive:0.541008)), books (0.585054 (negative:-0.086330)), fathers (0.440242 (negative:-0.655807)), mom (0.410432 (positive:0.036700)), Newsweek (0.330142 (neutral:0.000000)), daddies (0.327059 (negative:-0.647264)), dads (0.320716 (negative:-0.455466)), librarians (0.307658 (positive:0.246346)), effect (0.302195 (neutral:0.000000)), question (0.300877 (neutral:0.000000)), cause (0.298732 (neutral:0.000000)), daughter (0.294730 (neutral:0.000000)), mothers (0.293945 (positive:0.541008)), article (0.292096 (neutral:0.000000)), Men (0.291535 (negative:-0.256578)), literature (0.289594 (negative:-0.879191)), parent (0.288837 (negative:-0.202690)), section (0.288145 (positive:0.246346)), dad—if (0.285505 (positive:0.239389)), all—was (0.285350 (positive:0.239389))

Mom:Person (0.760068 (positive:0.239390)), Newsweek:PrintMedia (0.747948 (neutral:0.000000)), five minutes:Quantity (0.747948 (neutral:0.000000)), three-year:Quantity (0.747948 (neutral:0.000000))

Mother (0.960552): dbpedia | freebase
Children's literature (0.958127): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Fiction (0.918501): dbpedia | freebase
Literature (0.793216): dbpedia | freebase
Parent (0.775300): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Family (0.762193): dbpedia | freebase
Father (0.732467): dbpedia | freebase
Young-adult fiction (0.614790): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago

 The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be (New Father Series)
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Brott , Armin A. and Ash , Jennifer (2010-09-28), The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips, and Advice for Dads-to-Be (New Father Series), Abbeville Press, Retrieved on 2011-06-29
Folksonomies: parenting pregnancy fatherhood