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What Happened to the Heroines in Folktales?: An Analysis by Gender of a Multicultural Sample of Published Folktales Collected from Storytellers


Using grammatically defined units and a random selection of 1,601 folktales, this article analyzes the gender of protagonists of published folktales as related to the gender of editors, collectors, and storytellers. The differential representation of female folktales is statistically quantified. Independently reproducible results uphold mainstream feminist objections to supposedly impartial analyses of folk and fairy tales and indicate that structuralist analyses that have not taken gender into account in the compilation of their data sets can be considered compromised. This article demonstrates what mainstream feminists consider obvious but mainstream scholars in other fields consider unproven assumption.