Discusses how femininity and gender formation are related through fairy tales. As children grow they are taught the difference between male and female roles. One of the main ways this instruction takes place is through the pleasurable media of fairy tales in books, poems, and more recently, films. Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Beauty and the Best, and the Little Mermaid, among others, will be examined to understand how sexual identity is constructed differently in different cultures, and how issues such as rape and incest are addressed within the narratives. The readings explore the ways that fairy tales work to express psychological reactions to maturation while conditioning both characters and readers to adopt specific social roles in adulthood.