Current research into the construction of masculinities rejects the notion of sex roles as 'pre-existing norms which are passively internalized and enacted' and seeks instead to work from the assumption that gender is constructed in social interaction, seeing both masculinity and femininity as 'inherently relational concepts' (Connell 1995, p.35; p.44). Fiction is part of the context contributing towards these constructions as it presents ideas about, and models for, the possibilities of the gendered self and the shaping of identities. What is read by children and adolescents has a potential role in this process, or as Mem Fox (1993, p.84) so clearly states, 'Everything we read...constructs us, makes us who we are, by presenting our image of ourselves as girls and women, boys and men.'
Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature Vol. 12, Issue 3, p. 35-45