Leaper, C., Breed, L., Hoffman, L., & Perlman, C.A. (2002). Variations in the gender-stereotyped content of children’s television cartoons across genres. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32 (8), 1653-1662.

Abstract:  Examined the genderstereotyped content of children’s TV network cartoons across 4 genres: traditional adventure (e.g., “Spiderman”), nontraditional adventure (e.g., “Reboot”), educational/family (e.g., “Magic School Bus”), and comedy (“Animaniacs”). Acting negatively, showing physical aggression, and being a victim were significantly less likely in the educational/family genre cartoons than any of the other 3 genres. Demonstrating romantic behavior was significantly more likely in the traditional adventure and the comedy genres than the other genres. Male characters were represented in cartoons significantly more than were female characters, but only in the traditional adventure and the comedy genres. Male characters were more likely than were female characters to use physical aggression, but only in the traditional adventure genre. Behaviors that were relatively more likely among female characters across genres included showing fear, acting romantic, being polite, and acting supportive. Most of the significant differences were also associated with very large effect sizes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)