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Children’s drawings from China and the United States and conceptions of female beauty

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Children’s perceptions of female beauty, as evidenced by their drawings, are the focus of this study. The extent to which universal domains, culture and media-projected ideas of female beauty might impact children’s drawings is considered. Two groups of six- to nine-year-old children’s drawings and verbally expressed ideas of female beauty in two culturally different but comparatively similar rural settings in the United States and China participated in this study. Findings confirm that the art activities of children are affected by universal domains, but even more strongly by cultures. Children develop distinct imagery of elements and categories that represent female beauty based on their interactions with cultural values, observations of their environments and imaginations. Media is found to play a lesser role than culture in their depictions, although the more susceptible to cultural changes the local community is, the more likely media is to affect children’s notions of beauty.
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Keywords: beauty; children’s drawings; influence

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Rowan University, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2014

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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