Female Cross-Dressing in Young Adult Fiction: Protagonists’ Changing Perceptions of Women and Femininity

by Riley, Emily A.

Abstract (Summary)
In this study, latent content analysis was used to identify evidence of female characters’ changing perceptions of women and femininity before, during, and after their experiences cross-dressing in sixteen young adult historical fiction and fantasy novels. Results vary considerably, but most characters grow increasingly dissatisfied with their sex role over the course of these three stages. However, most characters ultimately come to better understand the disempowerment of women in their societies as a result of their experiences, and are, by the ends of their stories, better able to relate to and sympathize with other women. Further, in many of these stories, when the characters return to their female roles, they are able to change their lives so that, while more restricted than the male roles they are leaving behind, they are still freer than the female roles they originally escaped. Characters’ perceptions of self remained quite confident throughout all of the books examined.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Brian Sturm

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:content analysis women in literature evaluation young adults’ sexism


Date of Publication:12/03/2006

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.