Fairy Tales Are Too Scary for Children

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Experts say fairy tales not so happy ever after

8/27/12 9:14 PM

Purdue News
November 11, 2003
AUDIO Liz Grauerholz, sociology professor, talks about her Brothers Grimm fairy tale study that analyzed gender messages (42 seconds) Grauerholz discusses what parents should be aware of when their children read fairy tales. (43 seconds)

Experts say fairy tales not so happy ever after
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Fairy tales about pretty princesses winning Prince Charming are more harmful than parents might think, says a Purdue University sociologist. Liz Grauerholz, an associate professor of sociology, teamed with Lori BakerSperry, an assistant professor of women's studies at Western Illinois University and a former Purdue graduate student, to study how beauty is written about in fairy tales and whether stories with beautiful princesses are more likely to be popular. Grauerholz says parents need Liz Grauerholz to be aware that some stories Download photo - caption below tell children that unattractive people are more likely to be evil and reinforce traditional gender roles that may be confusing for today's young women. "Fairy tales, which are still read by millions of American children, say it pays to be pretty," Grauerholz says. "It's important to understand the messages our children receive about traditional gender roles, especially during a time when women are encouraged to be independent and rely on their brains rather than beauty. "Women today – despite increasing independence for many – still tend to value beauty and appearance. Why is it that attractive women and men are socially rewarded more than unattractive people? From early childhood, girls are read fairy tales about princesses who achieve vast riches simply because their beauty makes them special. That's a powerful message that


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Experts say fairy tales not so happy ever after

8/27/12 9:14 PM

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