It’s been revealed that parents across the UK are struggling to find books with ‘strong male rolemodels’ to give to their sons. 
It’s been revealed that parents across the UK are struggling to find books with ‘strong male rolemodels’ to give to their sons. The findings come from a survey of over 1,000 parents conducted by the National Literacy Trust (NLT). 
 
The survey found that 78% of parents agreed that the portrayal of men in literature tends to be based on ‘traditional gender stereotyping’, whilst a further 72% thought that men are ‘badly underrepresented in positions of authority’. A majority of parents agreed that they would like to see more books which portray men as ‘strong independent figures’ rather than as ‘victims or romantic interests’ for female characters. 
 
When we contacted individual parents their comments supported the survey’s findings. Andrew Gibbon from Bedford told us that he wanted his 4 year old son to develop into a ‘truly independent man’ but was struggling to find appropriate literature to help. He explained that he had already read The Hunger Games series, Pride & Prejudice and Raul Dahl’s Matilda to his son, but found that in all these books the male characters were ‘clearly secondary to the female protagonist’. 
 
In response to the findings the Daily Mail’s Peter Hitchens, a prominent male rights activist, argued that an unofficial ‘Hitchens test’ should be introduced for literature and film. This would require that each work includes at least one scene where two female characters talk to each other about something other than a boy or man. 
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