Evaluating Books for Racism and Sexism

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Harvard Medical School

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Evaluating Books for Racism and Sexism

Mental Health
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Entertainment
Evaluating Books for Racism and Sexism
Evaluating Books for Racism and Sexism
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Know what to avoid when choosing books for your child.
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InteliHealth
2011-05-29
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2013-03-11
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Evaluating Books for Racism and Sexism

Children’s books may contain subtle messages of racism and sexism that may affect a child’s sense of well-being. When selecting books for your child, follow these simple guidelines and choose books that help support your child's self-esteem and promote healthy emotional development.

  • Look at the illustrations. Are characters drawn stereotypically? Do people of color have Caucasian features except for tinted skin?
  • Look at the storyline. Are people of color or females given only minor or weak roles? Are negative judgments or attitudes implied in showing a variety of lifestyles?
  • Look at the characters. Who are the heroes and villains in the story? Where appropriate, is there diversity?
  • Consider a child's self-image. What messages are children receiving from the story? How does the story damage or support their self-esteem?

 

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Last updated May 29, 2011


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