J Homosex. 2023 Dec 13:1-24. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2023.2291054. Online ahead of print.
Picture books are a central part of early childhood and contribute to the picture children form of the world. While most picture books are oriented toward the concept of heteronormativity, more picture books featuring same-sex parents have been published in recent years. This article addresses the question of how same-sex parents are portrayed with regard to gender roles. Data stems from 23 German-language picture books, 17 with two mothers, six with two fathers. A quantitative coding approach was used to capture the portrayal of gender roles. The analyses showed that parents (especially fathers) are depicted as engaging in emotional or caring activities. Although in a large number of picture books both parents provide care and household-related activities, there is a statistically significant difference in terms of one parent performing these activities more frequently. In this respect, it can be seen that the portrayal of same-sex parents is partially oriented toward homonormativity, as these activities are usually depicted as female.