The website “Sociological Images” noted changing gender roles as depicted through a series of images in Richard Scarry’s famous children books. The book images came from Alan Taylor’s Flickr set, where he compares Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever, 1963 vs 1991 editions. As Taylor notes:
“The 1963 edition is my own, bought for me in the late 60’s when I was a toddler, and read to tatters. The 1991 edition belongs to my kids today. I was so familar with the older one that I immediately started noticing a few differences, and so have catalogued 10 of the more interesting differences here in this collection.”
Here are the changes Taylor found specifically with regards to gender.
Dad now helps with meals:
Jobs are no longer segregated by gender (the pilot is no longer “handsome,” the “baggage man” is now a “handler,” and the “pretty stewardess” is now a “flight attendant”):
The “brave hero,” “jumping gentleman,” and “fire fighter” are now gender neutral:
And girls are generally added, using bows (for better or worse) as a signifier:
We find it interesting, not just that the changes were made, but also to realize that it’s only been one full generation where the gender stereotypes were such an ingrained part of our culture.