children/youth


This website created by the American Anthropological Association is a great way to explore the social construction of race. There’s an awesome timeline that traces political and scientific trends where you can click on any part of it and get more information. It’s a great resource.It also includes this great 7 minute video called “A Girl Like Me”:

I’d actually love to get some feedback on this video. I really like it, but last time I showed it (in a social psychology portion of a Race and Ethnicity course), the class had a hard time recovering. It was depressing and I wasn’t very successful in DOING something SOCIOLOGICAL with it. Any ideas?

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Discussion of gender bending and transgender children on The View:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78ND3vqPz90[/youtube] 

Newsweek had an article today wondering if girl’s Halloween costumes might be too risque. I wasn’t surprised (I remember being shocked when I saw young girls dressed up as Spice Girls in 1998) so I decided to look around the Internet to find other questionable costumes. Not surprisingly, Halloween costumes are markers of not only gender and heterosexuality, but of race and class as well.

Let’s take children’s “occupational” costumes, for example. Here are some for girls: The French maid, nurse, and cheerleader costumes were the most prevalent.

And what about occupations for boys?



And look at how race is marked with some of the children’s costume models (2 cats, and a dancer):

And note how the intersections of race, militarization, sexuality and gender are also displayed in this costume. The first is a children’s costume, and the second is for teenagers. Both costumes are called “Major Flirt.”

And now let’s move on to teenage costumes. Here are some particularly popular ones for teen girls– sexy devils and sexy angels.

And some teen girl “occupation” costumes (prisoner, referee, navy):

And of course there are teen bunnies– “Hunny Bunny Teen” and “Classic Playboy Bunny”:

And what do teen boys get to dress up as? Scary clowns, murdering maniacs, and pimps.

The costumes for couples are also pretty telling– marked by heteronormative stereotypes. The first is a “Pimp and Kristy” costume, the second is a cop costume, and finally a costume of a brick layer and a woman dressed as a home, where the woman is literally displayed as the object, as the object of a man’s action.

Anyway, happy Halloween!


This t-shirt was available from Delia’s, a mail-order catalog that targets girls between the ages of 12 and 15. They stopped selling it after some complaints.


NEW! Lobby Card from Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs:

coal-black-lobby-card-1942