An expert in gender stereotypes has slammed the popular Mr Men and Little Miss series of books for children for being sexist towards women.

University researcher Madeleine Powel studied 47 Mr Men and 34 Little Miss books from 1971 to 2014 and found several instances of sexism.

According to the researcher, she found the male characrers had 12 extra words and the Little Miss characters often needed to be "saved".

Powell presented her research, conducted at the University of Lincoln, at the British Psychological Society's annual conference earlier this month.

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She pointed out specific quotes from the book that were sexist towards women, such as:

""She managed to find herself the perfect job. She now works for Mr Lazy! She cooks and cleans for him."

"I think it's interesting how parents may not necessarily be aware of how powerful messages in books can be, particularly how ideas about gender, power, and relationships can be transmitted through story books," she said.

"I'm also interested in exploring the different ways that parents choose, use and interact with books for their children."