Study: It’s Great to Let Boys be Girls, But Don’t Let Girls be Girls

The Disney “princess culture” is harming your daughters, so says a new study recently published by Brigham Young University professor Sarah Coyne.

“Disney Princesses: Not Brave Enough” explains that preschool girls engaging with Disney Princess culture (go ahead and roll your eyes at that one, I’ll wait) were left more susceptible to “potentially damaging stereotypes.”

It goes on to say:

“The researchers found that 96 percent of girls and 87 percent of boys had viewed Disney Princess media. And while more than 61 percent of girls played with princess toys at least once a week, only four percent of boys did the same.

For both boys and girls, more interactions with the princesses predicted more female gender-stereotypical behavior a year later.

Gendered behavior can become problematic if girls avoid important learning experiences that aren’t perceived as feminine or believe their opportunities in life are different as women….

Greater female stereotypical behavior isn’t worrisome for boys because the boys in the study who engaged with Disney Princess media had better body esteem and were more helpful to others. These beneficial effects suggest that princesses provide a needed counterbalance to the hyper-masculine superhero media that’s traditionally presented to boys.”

Who decided female gender-stereotypical behavior was inherently bad, anyway?  I mean, the latest generation of American women are dressing up like vaginas and protesting, throwing urine and tampons at lawmakers, and plastering their naked bodies all over social media.

But that makes us proud.  They aren’t conforming.  How strong.  How brave.  They’re really breaking the barriers.

On the other hand, the idea a girl behaving like a proper lady? No.  Shut it down.  Stop the bus.  That’s a real problem.

God forbid they learn class and modesty.  How terrible that they might expect a man to open a door for them, and treat them like a lady.

Could this study have had a point overshadowed, way deep down beneath the obnoxious liberal mentality? Yes; girls should know they don’t have to wear dresses and makeup all the time.  They can get down in the dirt with the boys, and parents should make sure they understand that.  I agree with this absolutely.  Any behavior can become problematic if parents aren’t actually, you know, parenting.

But what if girls simply enjoy dressing up and wearing sparkly shoes and a tiara?  I’m a grown woman and I still enjoy wearing dresses and makeup.  Aren’t we supposed to teach our children that they are allowed to be exactly who they want to be?  Isn’t that the mentality is shoved down our throats when a little boy wants to wear dresses?

And therein lies the problem.  A confused little boy thinks he wants to be a princess, and we are supposed to be on board without hesitation.  Hell, we’re supposed to celebrate it.  But a girl wants to be a princess, and –gasp- it may be detrimental to her well-being.  This is the backwards society in which we are living.

You know what I think might actually be damaging to both boys and girls? The constant drumbeat of modern society that says they are always under assault from all these various invented cultures that are constantly trying to oppress them and/or damage their fragile sense of self. Maybe the biggest problem we are creating is that we are raising both boys and girls to be terminally, incompetently weak by teaching them that watching Disney princess movies might harm them forever.

Having said that, I’m sure I’ve probably triggered a precious 17 year old snowflake somewhere who will never recover, so I’ll wait for the next scholarly article to come along that will explain how I should have handled writing this article better.


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