Like many parents, we wrestle with the role that TV plays in our daughter’s life. One of the hardest issues is trying to ensure she gets to see girls in leading roles.

Have a look at the protagonists on children’s TV shows, and you’ll see an endless procession of boys. The exceptions are few and far between: Dora the Explorer, Angelina Ballerina, Madeline, the Mole Sisters, and arguably Max and Ruby.

Even on ensemble shows like the always-wonderful Sesame Street, male characters have pride of place. They’re the only ones to get their own segments (Global Grover, Elmo’s World, Journey to Ernie), and the great majority of the muppets are boys.

Is it that program executives believe boys won’t watch a “girl’s show”, while girls will watch a show pitched to either gender?

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