Disney Princesses are as popular as ever, with almost every little girl having her favorite. The classic ladies like Cinderella and Snow White are still as beloved as Belle and Rapunzel, and newer gals like Merida and Elsa have become fierce faves of little girls across the country. But now, it turns out that this princess-loving culture may be bad for girls while at the same time benefiting boys.
A study by Brigham Young University published in Child Development analyzed the behavioral patterns of 198 preschoolers over the period of one year. With 96 percent of the girls and 87 percent of the boys having previously been exposed to Disney shows and movies, only four percent of the boys and more than 61 percent of the girls played with princess toys more than once a week.
What they found out was that girls who watched princess movies and played with princess toys were more likely to display traditional feminine behavior. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the worry is that the royal idea influences children more than it should. On the other hand, boys who watch princess movies and play with princess toys are more likely to have higher self-esteem, perhaps because they are more secure in whatever they do and don’t feel like they must fit into social norms and expectations.
With princess culture being so prevalent in our lives, it may be hard to judge what extent it influences us and our little ones, but this certainly is a little royal food-for-thought.
Do you feel like Disney Princesses are bad for girls? Are they good for boys? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(h/t Slate, photos via Disney)