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Development of gender role knowledge and gender constancy

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Abstract

Research suggests that children's developing knowledge about traditional gender roles has a substantial influence on how they process information pertaining to gender. Evidence also shows that as children attain gender constancy, their behaviors become especially responsive to gender-related information.

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... Recent approaches to understanding gender typing emphasize instead the central role played by self-socialization processes (Bussey & Bandura, 1992;Maccoby & Jacklin, 1974;Martin & Halverson, 1981;Ruble, 1987;Stangor & Ruble, 1987). A number of different theories take this general perspective, but the current study focuses on the role of the development of gender constancy (Kohlberg, 1966)-the understanding that one's gender remains permanent across time and situations-in driving children's active efforts to adopt the behaviors and attitudes characteristic of males and females in their culture. ...
... As noted by Stangor and Ruble (1987), Kohlberg left the exact operationalization of gender constancy to later researchers. Different measurement techniques have been developed, and estimates of the average age of acquisition (which have ranged from 4 and a half to over 7 years) vary with the method used (see Bem, 1989;Frey & Ruble, 1992;Martin & Little, 1990). ...
... Once children realize that not only are different people called boys and girls, but (1) this aspect of identity is permanent, and (2) it is associated with complex behavioral and psychological differences, then their efforts to learn about gender roles and regulate their own behavior should intensity. Gender constancy does not initiate gender typing, but magnifies it (Frey & Ruble, 1992;Stangor & Ruble, 1987). ...
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A number of studies have failed to find that gender constancy (understanding that one's gender is permanent) predicts gender-typed attitudes and behavior. This study (run with a predominantly white sample) tests the hypothesis that gender constant children are motivated to master gender roles, but that how well they do so depends on their knowledge of gender stereotypes. We predicted that attitudes toward computer use (a stereotypically male activity) would be less positive only for 5–9-year-old gender constant girls who also had rich gender stereotypes. Predictions were confirmed, especially for girls whose constancy had recently increased. These data thus suggest that the clearest picture of gender role development emerges when both the unique and interactive effects of gender constancy and gender schema development are assessed. They also indicate that gender differences in computer attitudes can develop through self-socialization processes.
... The extent to which this knowledge is used also changes with age. For example, children's tendency preferentially to remember information consistent with gender role increases significantly between the preschool years and middle childhood (Stangor & Ruble, 1987). Children also display their knowledge through the inferences they make about the interests and future activities of unfamiliar target children (as encountered in pictures, videotapes, and/ or short stories). ...
... There has also been relatively little research on the extent to which a child's general level of cognitive development is related to sex typing beyond the preschool and early childhood years. Measures of concrete operational thought predict gender constancy well, but the relation between gender constancy and other measures of sex typing has varied considerably across studies, sometimes being associated with greater sex typing, sometimes be- ing associated with more sex-role flexibility, and sometimes showing no predictive power (see Stangor & Ruble, 1987). Kohlberg and Zigler (1967) examined relations between IQ and several measures of sex-role attitudes in 4-8 year olds, concluding that, for the most part, bright children showed curvilinear developmental trends similar to those of average children, but beginning at an earlier chronological age. ...
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The present study examined the development of sex typing during middle childhood, using a sample of 558 children aged 5-12 years. The purpose of the study was to provide information about the developmental course and stability of various aspects of sex typing during this period and to examine the relative contributions of cognitive and environmental factors to sex-role development. Multiple measures of sex typing were obtained, including indices of personal preference, knowledge of stereotypes, and flexibility in the domains of activities, occupations, and traits. We also collected information about the child's cognitive maturity, exposure to sex-typed models at home, and socioeconomic status. Results supported the need for an integrative theory of sex-role development, incorporating factors emphasized by cognitive-developmental, schematic-processing, and social learning theories. Knowledge of stereotypes, flexibility, and sex-typed personal preferences all increased with age during middle childhood. There were also individual differences in sex typing that were stable over a 1-year period. Distinct "cognitive" and "affective" aspects of sex typing were identified using a principal components analysis. Cognitive elements (flexibility and knowledge of stereotypes) were largely a function of the child's cognitive maturity level, although social-environmental factors such as father's presence in the home also had some effect. Affective elements (sex-typed preferences for activities, occupations, and peers), on the other hand, were related more consistently to sex typing of the home environment. Children whose mothers frequently modeled "reversed" sex-role behaviors (i.e., traditionally "masculine" household and child-care tasks) were less sex typed in their own preferences. However, cognitive factors were also important, in that children who believed gender stereotypes to be flexible were less sex typed in their choices of activities, occupations, and peers. In sum, both cognitive maturation and socialization experiences contribute to the development of sex typing during middle childhood. Potential practical implications of these findings, as well as implications for stereotyping in other social domains such as race and ethnicity, are discussed.
... Thus, understanding the genital basis for gender classification does not, by itself, confer gender constancy. The second area of research is situational variation in the tendency of gender-constant and preconstant children to adopt sex-typed behavior (e.g., Stangor & Ruble, 1987). Further work may help explain why an understanding of gender constancy is associated with sex-typed behavior. ...
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95 children between 5- and 10-yrs-old watched televised boys and girls who differentially endorsed toys of varying attractiveness. The study was designed to test the hypothesis that behavioral expression of gender norms that arouse conflict would be delayed relative to norms that are conflict-free. Predictions were supported for boys. Gender-constant boys spent more time playing with an uninteresting sex-typed toy than did preconstant boys. When the sex-typed toy was relatively interesting, preconstant boys played with it as much as gender constant boys. Toy play among girls was related to toy attractiveness and the girl's agreement with televised stereotypes. Possible reasons for observed sex differences and previous inconsistencies in the gender constancy literature are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... In an attempt to explain how gender-typing of activities develops, children's understanding of gender in the gender-role socialization process has been the focus of the major gender role developmental theorists (Constantinople, 1979;Roopnarine & Mounts, 1987). Using an information-processing perspective (Bem, 1981(Bem, , 1984Levy 1989;Martin & Halverson, 1981 and drawing from cognitive developmental theories (e.g., Kohlberg, 1966;Kohlberg & Ullian, 1974;Stangor & Ruble, 1987), it is suggested that children's behaviors are guided by a desire to adhere and conform to sociocultural standards (Bem, 1981). According to these models (i.e., Bem, 1981;Martin & Halverson, 1981), the critical component behind the development of the gender-typing of activities is a child's readiness to respond to information based on socially reinforced gender roles, selective attention to gender-relevant information, and gender schematic processing (Levy & Carter, 1989). ...
Article
Acknowledgments There are many people that have helped, guided, encouraged, supported, and inspired me in this endeavor. It took me a long time to complete this goal, and without the following people, it would not have been possible. First, I would like to thank my family and friends. My husband, Ed; my children, Randy and Matthew; my parents, Ray and Gloria (deceased, August 2001); and my friends, Mike and Adrienne; Pat and Don; Michelle and Terry; Tammy,and Wiley; and Don and Judy; have been there for me when I was struggling to finish and encouraged me to persevere when I was tempted to quit. Even though they didn’t fully understand exactly what I was doing, they were interested and willing to listen to what my project was all about. Another very important group of people who have seen me through this are my colleagues, Wayne Lee, Jr.; Ed Walkwitz; Madge Ashy; Dan Hollander; Bob Kraemer; Linda and Bob Synovitz; Harold Blackwell; Dee Jacobsen; Betty Baker; Karen Lew; Cary Berthelot; Shelia Anthony and the rest ofthe faculty and staff in the Department of Kinesiology at Southeastern Louisiana University. They servedas a source of inspiration, encouragement, and support. Many helped with proof reading, collecting data and offered advice and suggestions with data analysis. In addition to my colleagues, the kinesiology and teacher education students at SLU have been supportive. They helped with pilot studies and expressed a sense of empathy when I
... For example, the understanding of gender constancy is no longer viewed as an antecedent to all gender knowledge and gender differentiation. Instead, it is viewed as a point of increased susceptibility to gender-relevant information (Stangor & Ruble, 1987) as well as a period of consolidation for conclusions about gender-appropriate activities (Ruble, 1994). Findings that children engage in gendertyped behavior prior to age 5-an observation even Kohlberg (1966) referred to-do not constitute a serious refutation of the basic tenets of contemporary cognitive-developmental theory, as Bussey and Bandura (1999) implied. ...
Article
The goal of this chapter is to outline the tenets of cognitive perspectives used by developmental psychologists when studying gender development and to discuss the advances made in using cognitive approaches. In the first section of the chapter, the two major cognitive approaches—cognitive developmental theory and gender-schema theories—used in the study of gender development are outlined. The second section is a brief description of the major issues involved applying a cognitive approach to gender development and how these issues are being addressed with renewed emphasis on the dynamism of gender concepts. The third section is a review of how gender concepts function in different domains and at different levels of abstraction. The fourth section considers two ways of thinking about dynamic gender concepts and how these may be useful in understanding gender development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... Gender schemata have been proposed as the mech- anism whereby children acquire and maintain stereotyped views of men and women (e.g., Bern, 1981;Martin & Halverson, 1981). Of particular interest have been the biases in the process- ing of gender-related information that are believed to result from the stereotyped structure of gender schemata (e.g., Ruble & Stangor, 1986;Stangor & Ruble, 1987), biases often referred to as gender-schematic processing. ...
Article
When processing gender-related information, children have difficulty remembering materials that are counterstereotypic or that are associated more strongly with the other sex. The question of whether encoding difficulties account for these memory problems was investigated. Children (kindergarten through Grade 3) were shown pictures of men and women in traditional, nontraditional, or neutral roles. Some children were given stimulus labels at acquisition to simplify the encoding task. Free-recall data revealed biases in the direction of gender stereotypes, irrespective of label vs no-label conditions (Studies 1 and 2) and of slower vs faster presentation rates (Study 2). Results suggest that an inability to encode at acquisition is probably not the major cause of gender-related biases observed in later recall and have implications for the development of intervention programs designed to reduce gender-schematic processing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... Similar to the step-like stages assessed relative to gender identity (e.g., gender labeling, self-labeling), within the domain of gender stereotypes, tasks have sought to assess children's development of gender stereotypes (e.g., knowledge that boys like trucks and girls like dolls), as well as how children's gender stereotypes may inform their own preferences or behaviors (e.g., I play with dolls because I am a girl). Some theorists have argued that motivations to engage in stereotypically female or male behaviors emerge as soon as children are able to identify their own gender as well as the gender of others (Martin & Halverson, 1981;Martin & Little, 1990), whereas others have suggested that it is not until the development of gender constancy that children become motivated to act in gender-typical ways (Kohlberg, 1981;Smetana & Letourneau, 1984;Stangor & Ruble, 1987). Another hypothesis is that prenatal levels of testosterone are related to stereotypical preferences in preschool children (Hines et al., 2002). ...
Article
Abstract The goals of the present article are to summarize the current state of assessment measures pertaining to the evaluation of gender in young children, identify gaps in knowledge, and propose priorities for research regarding gender identity development as concepts of gender evolve over time. We provide an overview of assessment tools that have been used to measure gender-related constructs in young children and highlight areas in which more nuanced concepts of gender have driven the creation of new approaches to assessment. We identify a number of overarching assessment limitations as well, with recommendations for research priorities: (a) developing and validating measures of gender identity in young children, (b) examining gender development in typical and gender diverse young children, (c) incorporating a nonbinary model of gender into assessment, (d) examining family and broader ecological variables as they impact gender development, and (e) studying factors that influence parental beliefs about their young child’s gender. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
... Although viewpoints differ slightly as to the specific components of gender schemata, most researchers agree that gender-schematic processing consists of both a knowledge component and an affective, value-laden, motivational component (e.g. Fagot & Leinbach, 1993;Levy & Carter, 1989;Martin & Halverson, 1981;Signorella, Bigler, & Liben, 1993;Stangor & Ruble, 1987;Welch-Ross & Schmidt, 1996). From this perspective, once a child accepts membership in a gender group, he or she comes to value and adopt the social role associated with his or her own gender label, and this gender role includes preferences for toys. ...
Article
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Developmental intergroup theory would predict that children develop fewer or weaker stereotypes about toys that have less distinguishable gender attributes than those that are clearly associated with a gender. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of neutral and ambiguous toys in 31 three‐ to five‐year‐old children’s play behaviour and understanding about gender. Overall, children did not categorise more perceptually salient (ambiguous) toys than less distinguishable (neutral) toys to their own gender. Colour was the most frequently used reason for the toys’ gender assignment. The findings also showed that with age, girls’ play complexity increased linearly, whereas boys’ scores did not. A play substitution scale measuring play creativity or maturity showed no gender differences. The discussion highlights the role of perceptual salience in sex‐dimorphic toy preferences and behaviour and their application to educational issues.
... Once children understand that they belong to a gender category, they embark on an investigation as "gender detectives," attending to information about their own gender and about differences between girls and boys (Martin & Ruble, 2004). Second, children's emerging understanding of gender concepts motivates them to master gender categories by behaving in gender-appropriate ways (Stangor & Ruble, 1987). Third, there exists a developmental trajectory of gender typing. ...
Article
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Many young children pass through a stage of gender appearance rigidity; girls insist on wearing dresses, often pink and frilly, whereas boys refuse to wear anything with a hint of femininity. In 2 studies, we investigated the prevalence of this apparent hallmark of early gender development and its relation to children's growing identification with a gender category. Study 1a examined the prevalence of this behavior and whether it would exhibit a developmental pattern of rigidity followed by flexibility, consistent with past research on identity-related cognitions. Interviews with 76 White, middle-class parents and their 3- to 6-year-old children revealed that about two thirds of parents of 3- and 4-year-old girls and almost half (44%) of parents of 5- and 6-year-old boys reported that their children had exhibited a period of rigidity in their gender-related appearance behavior. Appearance rigidity was not related to parents' preferences for their children's gender-typed clothing. Study 1b examined whether cognitive theories of identity development could shed light on gender appearance rigidity. The more important and positive children considered their gender and the more children understood that gender categories remain stable over time (gender stability), the more likely children were to wear gender-typed outfits. In Study 2, we extended this research to a more diverse population and found that gender appearance rigidity was also prevalent in 267 4-year-old children in the United States from African American, Chinese, Dominican, and Mexican immigrant low-income backgrounds. Results suggest that rigid gender-related appearance behavior can be seen among young children from different backgrounds and might reflect early developing cognitions about gender identity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
... Thus, photographs of children engaged in gender-consistent activities are better remembered than gender-inconsistent ones (Martin & Halverson, 1981). Moreover, memory for gender-inconsistent depictions is often distorted, such that children's recollections often involve changing the sex of target (Carter & Levy, 1988;Signorella, Bigler, & Liben, 1997;Stangor & Ruble, 1987). Even for information that is neutral with respect to the categories under consideration (e.g. ...
Article
This paper provides a brief overview of recent developmental research on themes related to children's social identities. Initially, consideration is given to the capacity for social categorization, following which attention is given to children's developing conceptions of social identities, their identification with social groups, and the consequences of identification upon various phenomena such as ingroup favouritism and well-being. Finally, some personal thoughts on the wider political implications of this research are offered. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
... Therefore, the present study measured children's racial constancy through tasks that examined racial identification, stability and consistency amongst 3-5 year old white British children. Social-cognitive theory contends that once children obtain racial constancy they are motivated to seek out information about appropriate behavior for their group (i.e., stereotypes) and to behave in line with their group membership (Bernal, Knight, Garza, Ocampo & Cota, 1990;Ocampo, Bernal & Knight, 1993;Semaja, 1980;Stangor & Ruble, 1987). Indeed, the emergence of racial constancy does seem to parallel the onset of racial in-group bias (Ruble et al., 2004). ...
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This paper examined the influence of interracial contact and racial constancy on the racial intergroup bias of young Anglo-British children. This multi-site study was conducted in areas of Great Britain that varied in terms of racial diversity. The study also investigated whether preschool children express bias on positive, but not negative, valence attributions. Anglo-British children (N = 136) between 3 and 5 years of age with different levels of interracial contact undertook a racial stereotype attribution measure and three tasks to assess racial constancy. Significantly more racial bias was shown towards the African Caribbean-British compared to the Asian-British or Oriental-British racial out-groups. As predicted, only children in racially mixed areas failed to show discrimination in favor of the white in-group on both the positive and negative trait attributions. In addition, higher racial constancy was related significantly to greater racial intergroup bias. These findings suggest that racial intergroup bias amongst 3–5 year old children may be reduced through the promotion of interracial contact, because at this age children are already beginning to develop racial constancy.
... Bereits Kinder unterscheiden demnach sich in der Art ihrer Schemata: einige verfügen über stärker entwickelte Schemata als andere, sie denken in stärkerem Maß geschlechtsschematisch, verstehen die Welt hinsichtlich geschlechtstypischer Themen besser und erinnern geschlechtskonsistente Informationen eher als geschlechtsinkonsistente (Stangor & Ruble, 1987 (Archer & Lloyd, 2002;Archer, Smith, & Kilpatrick, 1995;Deaux, Kite, & Lewis, 1985;Edwards & Spence, 1987;Kite & Deaux, 1986;Payne, Connor, & Colletti, 1987;Ruble & Stangor, 1986). Archer und Lloyd (2002), die wie Lippa (2001) Fremdgruppe betont und bisweilen sogar übertrieben werden (Trew, 1998). ...
Thesis
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Das Geschlechtsrollenselbstkonzept, das sich im Laufe der Sozialisation in Auseinandersetzung mit den vorherrschenden Vorstellungen der umgebenden Kultur entwickelt, steht in Beziehung zu Affekten, Kognitionen und Verhaltensweisen in einer Vielzahl von Bereichen. Bisherige GSK-Instrumente messen jedoch nahezu ausschließlich den positiven Aspekt von Maskulinität und Femininität. Die Definition des allgemeinen Selbstkonzepts gibt diese Limitierung auf positive Valenz nicht vor, und aus gesundheitspsychologischer Sicht sowie der Gruppenforschung ist die Bedeutung negativer Eigenschaften zur Selbstbeschreibung bekannt. Vor diesem Hintergrund wurden sieben aufeinander aufbauende Studien durchgeführt mit dem Ziel ein neues Instrument zu entwickeln, deren Items zum einen kulturell aktuellen Eigenschaften zur Selbstbeschreibung entsprechen und zum anderen die Valenzunterschiede dieser Merkmalsbeschreibungen berücksichtigen. Nach einer kritischen empirischen Überprüfung des deutschen BSRI, um Schwächen der Items ausschließlich positiver Valenz aufzudecken, wurde eine neue Skala entwickelt, die von Beginn an auch negative Selbstbeschreibungen berücksichtigte um der Komplexität des geschlechtlichen Selbst gerecht zu werden. Aufgrund der Einschätzungen zur Typizität und sozialen Erwünschtheit sowie mit ersten Resultaten aus der Selbstbeschreibung wurde die Auswahl der Items für die Teilskalen vorgenommen. In zwei weiteren Studien wurden schließlich die vier neu entwickelten Teilskalen des neuen GSK-Inventars einer Validierung unterzogen. Jeder der Teilskalen wurden theoriegeleitet spezifische Konstrukte zugeordnet und es konnte nachgewiesen werden, dass alle Teilskalen ihren eigenen Beitrag zur Vorhersage psychologischer Konzepte leisten können. So standen beispielsweise die negativen maskulinen Eigenschaften in engerer Beziehung zu Aggressivität und machtbezogenen Werten als die positiven Aspekte der Maskulinität. Als Ergebnis dieser Entwicklung stehen am Ende vier kurze, unabhängige, reliable Teilskalen, die positive als auch negative Aspekte von Maskulinität und Femininität abbilden und mittels sehr unterschiedlicher psychologischer Erlebens- und Verhaltenskonstrukte validiert wurden, die die Unabhängigkeit der Skalen belegen und diese für einen Einsatz in der Forschung empfehlen. Die Einführung einer individuellen Wertkomponente im Zuge der Selbstbeschreibung, angelehnt an das bekannte Erwartungs-mal-Wert Modell der Motivations- und Einstellungsforschung, und die daraus mögliche multiplikative Verknüpfung von Selbsteinschätzung und persönlicher Wichtigkeit der Eigenschaften konnten den Aufklärungswert in Bezug auf unterschiedliche Validierungskonstrukte dagegen nicht verbessern und wurden daher nicht ins das Instrument integriert.
... Kohlberg (1966) also argued that children begin to develop the next stage, gender constancy, between the ages of three to seven years. At this stage, children begin to realize that their sex-and thus gender identity in this theory-will remain permanent (Kohlberg, 1996;Stangor & Ruble, 1987). In this way, Kolhberg's theory created a strong connection between birth-assigned category and self-experienced gender categorization as appropriately cisgender (viz., the same label for each). ...
Chapter
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Within psychology and psychiatry, gender identity has developed at least two distinguishable meanings: awareness of anatomy (e.g., Stoller, 1974) and endorsing specific traits that are stereotypical of different gender groups (e.g., Bem, 1974; Wood & Eagly, 2010). However, neither existing approach has considered gender identity to be a self-categorization process that exists within personality science. In this chapter, I develop the argument that gender identity can be fruitfully explored as a personality process. I use both classic and modern personality process approaches to demonstrate that theorizing about gender identity from the personality perspective clarifies and complements-rather than eclipses-prior theorizing. Additionally, several unique insights are available to researchers when gender identity is approached as a personality process, and some of these insights are identified within this chapter.
... Deti si uvedomujú rozdielnosť obidvoch pohlaví, vedia ako vyzerá a má sa správať chlapec a ako dievča a podľa toho sa aj orientujú -chcú vyzerať rovnako ako ostatné deti toho istého pohlavia, dávajú prednosť hre s deťmi rovnakého pohlavia. K rozvoju uvedenej zložky identity prispievajú sociálnokultúrne vplyvy, značný význam má pôsobenie médií -detských kníh, programov v televízii, filmov, divadelných predstavení, v ktorých sú zvyčajne dosť rozdielnym spôsobom prezentované deti a dospelí obidvoch pohlaví (Stangor, Ruble, 1987). ...
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Výskum podporovaný grantovou agentúrou VEGA č. 1/0598/15 s názvom Dieťa na prahu vzdelávania a jeho svet je zameraný na výskum sveta dnešného dieťaťa, detské chápanie pojmov súvisiacich s rozvíjaním ich gramotnosti, hodnotami, citmi, sociálnym svetom a svetom práce. Jednotlivé kapitoly predmetnej monografie tento zámer kopírujú. Sú teoretickými východiskami dôvodov a možností skúmania./ Current pedagogical science needs up-to-date and flexibly complemented knowledge about children as a specific age,cultural and social group in order for the teacher to work with them in line with standard educational goals. Book is focused on research of children before and at moment of entering the world of education./ Metodologické a teoretické východiská - MEthodological outcomes
... These findings accord with the notion that material that is culturally linked to one sex is remembered better by children of that sex (see Martin, 1993;Signorella, Bigler & Liben, 1993, for reviews), but that the effects of sex stereotypes on children's memory are related to individual and developmental differences in level of stereotyping (e.g. Liben & Signorella, 1980; see also Stangor & Ruble, 1987). ...
Article
Children's memory for unexpected and expected objects in real-world settings were examined in three experiments. The setting of Expt 1 reflected male interests (a doctor's examination room), whereas the setting of Expt 2 was more compatible with female interests (a beauty salon). In both studies, 6- and 9-year old boys and girls viewed objects that were consistent or inconsistent with expectations about each environment. The results of the experiments showed a consistency effect in that recognition memory for unexpected was better than that for expected objects for both age groups. However, the magnitude of the consistency effect interacted with age and gender, so that older boys, but not older girls, showed an absence of the consistency effect in the doctor's setting (Expt 1), whereas older girls showed a similar pattern in the beauty-salon setting (Expt 2). Experiment 3 provided independent evidence for the assumption that the two settings induced gender-related biases. The findings of the study indicate that the effects of expectancies on school-age children's episodic remembering are sensitive to gender-related biases, and that these schematic effects may be more complex and dynamic than proposed by the general schema-theoretic formulations of the consistency effect.
Article
A study of the sex-typed self-descriptions of subjects from five grade/age levels (kindergarten through early college) addressed whether (a) levels of sex typing change developmentally, and (b) the attributes on which individuals are most strongly sex typed change with age. Subjects were asked to rate themselves on 24 sex-relevant attributes, including personality traits, physical characteristics, roles or behaviors, and occupations. Overall levels of sex typing did not change developmentally, but the attributes on which subjects were most strongly sex typed were influenced by age: kindergartners, 3rd graders, 7th graders, and college students showed strongest evidence of sex typing on physical attributes, while 10th graders did so on behaviors. Males in general were most likely to distinguish themselves physically from females, while female distinguished themselves behaviorally from males. Findings are discussed in regard to a componential model of the gender concept.
Article
Many reviewers of the literature on children's sex typing have remarked on the failure of researchers to attend carefully to methodological issues when designing measures of sex typing. In the present article, the importance of conceptually and operationally distinguishing among (a) the target of sex typing (i.e., self vs. others), (b) the form of sex typing (e.g., knowledge vs. attitudes), and (c) the domain of sex typing (e.g., occupations, activities, etc.) is emphasized. Several other methodological issues in measurement design, including the independence and comparability of masculine and feminine items, are also discussed. Finally, newly developed measures of sex typing designed to address these conceptual and methodological issues are described.
Article
This study tested the common hypothesis that parents' gender stereotypes, maternal employment status, and the traditionality of parents' occupations, are associated with the traditionality of children's vocational interests. The traditionality of preschool children's (n=113) interests was examined by an instrument developed for the current study. Parents were administered the Attitudes toward Women Scale, and traditionality of their occupations was assessed. Only the traditionality of the mothers' occupations significantly correlated with the traditionality of the interests of both boys and girls. Other variables tested, as well as their interactions, were not found to show such relationships. The results were discussed in terms of the function of the role model in gender identity development and vocational schema modification.
Article
The purpose of the current study was to examine the effect of preadolescent children's gender orientation on their social perception of animal characters whose gender was clearly female, clearly male, or gender-ambiguous. Nine- to 12-year-old middle-class Israeli children who had completed a Hebrew version of Boldizar's scale for gender orientation in children assigned gender to the animal characters and indicated their degree of liking for them. Children's gender orientation did not influence their perceptions of the gender of animal characters that are clearly female and clearly male, but did impact on their perceptions of the gender of ambiguous animal characters. Second, children's liking for animal characters of different apparent gender interacted with gender orientation such that children with an androgynous gender orientation did not evidence differential liking of animal characters on the basis of their apparent gender. Children's liking of the animal characters was only partly mediated by their perceptions of the gender of these animal characters. Finally, gender orientation interacted with gender in determining degree of liking for the animal characters. The findings are discussed in terms of the impact of gender stereotyping in social perception.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Washington, 1996 This dissertation develops an ontological understanding of dialogue that is then used to reconsider the forms and purposes of schooling. Employing the works of Martin Buber and Mikhail Bakhtin, the work departs from the literature on schooling that treats dialogue as merely an instrument in the schooling of children in order for them to become good citizens, to join the work force and the like. Instead it is argued that dialogue needs to be understood as constituting the very essence of human existence. In addition the dissertation offers a critique of monological assumptions of modern and postmodern philosophies and critiques non-ontological theories of dialogue that give it a merely instrumental, as opposed to constitutive value. The notion of a polyphonic self is then introduced, which calls for reconsideration of the notions of identity, integrity, and authenticity. A human self is co-authored by others, and can exist and be known only through dialogue with others. A person of dialogical integrity is defined as being consistently different in different situations; and the authentic self is true to the dialogical situation, rather than one's inner feelings and self-concepts. The dissertation illustrates the ontological notion of dialogue by analyzing types of discourse in classroom communication. Instances of dialogue are not those where students and a teacher take turn in an orderly conversation, according to rules of "dialogical teaching." Rather, dialogue appears in some moments of disruption, talking out of turn, and laughter. The dissertation defines a successful school as one fostering dialogue in its ontological sense. Such a school should possess systemic qualities of complexity, civility, and carnival. These qualities create necessary conditions for the emergence of the dialogical relation.
Article
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Although the multidimensionality of gender roles has been well established, few researchers have investigated male and female roles separately. Because of the substantial differences in the ways male and female roles are portrayed in our culture, boys and girls may think and learn about these roles differently. The male role is more clearly defined, more highly valued, and more salient than the female role; thus, children's cognitions about these two roles may be expected to differ. The present study addressed the question of whether there is sex-typical variation in gender labeling, gender-role knowledge, and schematicity. Participants were 120 families; 15% were from minority ethnic groups, and 17% were single-parent families; 25% of the parents had a high school education or less. Results indicated that at 36 months of age, boys were less able to label gender and less knowledgeable about gender roles than were girls. Boys' knew more about male stereotypes than female stereotypes, whereas girls knew considerably more than boys about the female role and as much as boys about the male role. Boys and girls were found to be similar in gender schematicity. Traditionality of parental attitudes regarding child-rearing and maternal employment were not strongly related to children's gender cognition. Peer Reviewed http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/45617/1/11199_2004_Article_226122.pdf
Chapter
The focus of this chapter is on two decades of advances in theory and research involving cognitive theoriesCognitive theories of gender developmentGender development. The primary ways in which contemporary research has built upon previous work include (a) expanding the measurement and conceptualization of gender identitiesGender identities, (b) broadening the scope of gender-related cognitive constructs, and (c) detailing more closely the processes underlying gender developmentGender development and describing the interrelations among these processes. In this chapter, we review the major themes underlying cognitive approaches, detail recent advances in research involving cognitive theoriesCognitive theories of gender developmentGender development, and provide suggestions for future work that will capitalize on these advances.
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Sex differences in social behaviour emerge as early as 2 years of age and gender schema theorists have suggested that preverbal infants possess ‘tacit’ knowledge of gender which informs their behaviour. This study examined sex-congruent preferences using a visual preference paradigm in four domains (babies, children, toys, activities) in a longitudinal study of infants aged 3, 9 and 18 months. At 3 months, infants showed a marginally significant preference for same-sex babies driven principally by males. Sex-congruent toy preference was found among males at ages 9 and 18 months. Both sexes preferred masculine activity styles but this effect was significantly stronger among males than females. Gender schema theory requires gendered self-concept as a precursor to sex-congruent preference. Infants did not recognize themselves from photographs at any of the ages tested. By 18 months approximately two thirds of infants showed self-recognition on the rouge test. However, at none of the ages and in none of the domains tested was self-recognition related to sex-congruent preference. Cross-domain consistency of preference was not found. There was evidence of some stability of preference within domains between the ages of 9 and 18 months and this stability was very marked for activity preference.
Article
The aim of this study was to seek evidence of intermodal knowledge about gender in infants that would provide direct evidence of the existence of gender categories during the 1st yr of life. In Exp 1, 20 9- and 24 12-mo-olds were presented with pairs of male and female pictures with a female or male voice presented simultaneously. Ss spent significantly more time looking at the pictures matching the voices than at the same pictures paired with mismatching voices, but only in the case of female stimuli. Comparison to chance level performance suggested that the matching effect was more consistent in older Ss. In Exp 2, 20 9-mo-olds were tested with a set of highly stereotypical faces and distinctive male and female voices. Ss showed a preference for the faces matching the voices, but this effect was again restricted to female stimuli. Results of both studies suggest that intermodal knowledge about gender develops during the 2nd half of the 1st yr. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This article focuses upon the role of gender as a significant aspect of self-concept, one that acquires particular salience at times of transition in a person’s life. We suggest that transitional phases intensify the sociocultural processes of identity construction, and that gender acquires particular salience as an aspect of identity at these times of transition. Both authors have undertaken studies that focused on gender as an aspect of identity during key transitional phases of the school career, one focused on the first transition to formal schooling and the other on the transition from primary to secondary schooling. Illustrations will be drawn from both these studies to support the suggestion that the social category of gender functions as a means of providing a schematic principle for ‘coping’ with transitions. We outline a programme for further empirical research that could be employed to develop and explore this suggestion further.
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In two independent studies, the relationship between children’s ability to distinguish appearance from reality (AR) and their understanding of gender constancy1 (GC) was examined. In Study 1, German children (N = 130) aged 3;8 to 9;5 years were tested (1) in four standard AR tasks, and (2) by 21 items related to the three stages of gender constancy understanding. In Study 2, Hungarian children (N = 75) aged 3;0 to 6;0 years responded to (1) appearance and reality questions while they or an experimenter were wearing a facial mask, and (2) a gender constancy interview using Bem’s(1989) photographs and scripts. In Study 2, the role of genital knowledge was also examined. For gender consistency questions, children were asked about appearance (“looks like”) and reality (“really is”) in both studies. Applying pass–fail criteria to AR and GC responses, children in both studies were grouped as “realists” vs. “nonrealists” and as “gender-constant” vs. “non-gender-constant”. The two studies converged in finding a strong association between the ability to distinguish appearance from reality and gender constancy understanding. The observed association between AR and GC was independent of age and children’s genital knowledge. However, while the results of Study 1 suggested that the AR distinction precedes sex-category constancy, in Study 2 the two abilities appeared to develop concurrently. Further, children in Study 1 achieved both AR and GC at a later age than children in Study 2.
Article
The authors review their Developmental Pathway Models that characterize normative gender differentiation during childhood. Particular attention is paid to the attitudinal pathway model that describes the routes by which children's gender attitudes guide the selection and impact of gender-related experiences for the self. The personal pathway model describes the ways in which children's own interests and skills may affect their gender-related attitudes about others. The authors identify opportunities for the emergence of various kinds of gender nonconformity in relation to the constructs and mechanisms in these models.
Article
In this chapter, we provide an overview of the main internal and external factors proposed by social and evolutionary psychologists to explain the development of prejudice and stereotypes from childhood. We focus particularly on gender prejudice and empirical evidence obtained from studies conducted in Spain. Gender relations differ from other intergroup relations in that contact between girls and boys increases with age. It has been proposed that this is due to the greater interdependence that underlies the development of heterosexual intimacy during adolescence. Despite this, gender prejudice persists (or even grows) during adulthood. Thus, gender prejudice is an atypical type of intergroup conflict that is characterized by attitudinal ambivalence toward the out-group. We analyze the theoretical and empirical evidence about the development of gender relations from childhood to adolescence and adulthood in relation to the emergence of ambivalently sexist attitudes. We discuss the importance of exploring such processes to develop effective social interventions.
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Interaction with toys can be seen as the gateway to many aspects of children's socialization and cognitive development in early childhood. The present study examined the reasoning of two-to five-year-old boys' and girls' classifications of toy pictures. A total of 47 children were shown male, female, neutral, and ambiguous toy pictures and asked to identify « boy » and « girl » toys and to comment why they had made these choices. The preschoolers showed differential stereotyping by age groups and gender. Older children and boys held stronger gender stereotype preferences than younger children and girls. Boys were more likely to identify neutral and ambiguous toys as male toys whereas girls did not differ in their classification of neutral toys. The most common reason for associating a neutral and male toy with a particular sex was gender association, whereas for ambiguous toys, preschoolers made decisions based on color and their interest in playing with the toy. No clear pattern emerged for female toys.
Chapter
Gender socialisation is the process through which society teaches children what it means to be male or female. While gender socialisation itself is a cross-cultural phenomenon, there are differences in the way that the process manifests itself cross-culturally. This is, in part, due to differences in the perceived roles of males and females across societies. Once the sex of a child is known, be that before or after birth, the process of gender socialisation begins. Parents generally prefer that their children adhere to traditional gender-roles, and are concerned when they do not. Rigid adherence to stereotypical gender roles can have negative consequences in childhood and beyond, as these stereotypes can limit children's educational and occupational aspirations, perceived academic competency, emotional expression, and social development. The impact of culture and parental influence in adherence to stereotypical gender roles is discussed via toy preferences and play.
Article
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Gender constancy judgments in children referred for problems in their gender identity development (N = 206) and controls (N = 95) were compared. On Slaby and Frey's (1975) gender constancy interview, the gender-referred children performed more poorly than the controls at three stage levels: gender identity, gender stability, and gender consistency. On the Boy-Girl Identity Task, a second measure of gender constancy (Emmerich et al., 1977), the gender-referred children also performed more poorly. Gender-referred children who had not attained gender consistency engaged in significantly less same-sex-typed play on a free-play task than the gender-referred children who had, but there were no gender consistency effects for the controls. Two other measures of sex-typed behavior were unrelated to gender consistency. In the gender-referred group alone, children who "failed" the gender identity or gender stability stages were more likely to draw an opposite-sex person first on the Draw-a-Person test and to evince more affective gender confusion on the Gender Identity Interview (Zucker et al., 1993) than children who had "passed." It is concluded that children referred for problems in their gender identity development have a developmental lag in gender constancy acquisition. Possible reasons for the lag are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
This study identifies a phase in the development of gender identity which is transitional to attainment of gender constancy in the concrete operational sense. During this transitional phase, the child can judge gender constant despite stimulus transformation, but his reasoning is bound to certain stimulus cues and falls short of an operational concept of gender invariance. Distinctive structural properties of this phase are discussed. Based upon a developmental study of economically disadvantaged children aged 4-7, evidence is presented on the sequential placement of this transitional phase and on the role of general cognitive development in its mediation. The generalizability of this transitional phase and its possible import for sex-role development are discussed.
Article
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Competing predictions derived from cognitive-developmental theory and social learning theory concerning sex-linked modeling were tested. In cognitive-developmental theory, gender constancy is considered a necessary prerequisite for the emulation of same-sex models, whereas according to social learning theory, sex-role development is promoted through a vast system of social influences with modeling serving as a major conveyor of sex role information. In accord with social learning theory, even children at a lower level of gender conception emulated same-sex models in preference to opposite-sex ones. Level of gender constancy was associated with higher emulation of both male and female models rather than operating as a selective determinant of modeling. This finding corroborates modeling as a basic mechanism in the sex-typing process. In a second experiment we explored the limits of same-sex modeling by pitting social power against the force of collective modeling of different patterns of behavior by male and female models. Social power over activities and rewarding resources produced cross-sex modeling in boys, but not in girls. This unexpected pattern of cross-sex modeling is explained by the differential sex-typing pressures that exist for boys and girls and socialization experiences that heighten the attractiveness of social power for boys.
Article
2 implications of Bartlett's constructive theory of memory-better memory for schema-consistent material and alteration of schema-inconsistent material-were tested. In Study 1, kindergartners, second graders, and fourth graders with either more or less stereotyped attitudes were asked to recall gender-relevant pictures. At all ages, highly stereotyped children recalled more traditional than nontraditional pictures, while less stereotyped children recalled more nontraditional than traditional pictures. Most reconstructions transformed nontraditional items to traditional, with more of these reconstructions being produced by highly stereotyped children. In Study 2, an easier recall task was given to more and less stereotyped first graders. Again, highly stereotyped children recalled more traditional than nontraditional pictures, whereas less stereotyped children showed no differential memory for picture type. As before, nontraditional-to-traditional reconstructions were most common, although the difference between highly and less stereotyped children was not significant. These findings, combined with those of Liben and Signorella, suggest that as task difficulty increases, memory becomes more schema consistent.
Article
Research investigating the processing of gender-related information is examined by means of an integration across social-psychological and developmental literatures. First, social-psychological and developmental approaches to schemas in general, and to gender schemas in particular, are briefly summarized. Studies examining the effects of gender schemas on memory and information processing are then reviewed. Across both literatures, the findings of most studies suggest that gender-consistent information, however operationalized, is remembered better and processed more efficiently than gender-inconsistent information. Results are more mixed with respect to effects of variations in schema strength, defined as individual differences in sex stereotyping or sex typing. Next, effects of variations in schema strength are examined in terms of developmental differences in gender constancy and age. Because different measures of schema strength show different effects across age levels, it is suggested that two different aspects of schemas (knowledge and importance) may contribute differentially to different measures. Finally, the findings are discussed in terms of (1) underlying mechanisms, (2) implications for the social schema literature more generally, and (3) implications for social stereotyping.
Article
Recent research has indicated that cognitive-developmental processes (i.e., awareness of gender constancy) may have an important impact on children's sex-role development. The present study, based on the work of Slaby and Frey, interviewed 51 preschool children individually to assess their awareness of gender constancy and their choice of same-sex models. The findings suggest that the relationship may be more complex than originally assumed. Imitation of same-sex models performing relatively neutral activities was not more likely among high gender-constant children (aware that their gender cannot change) than among low gender-constant children (not certain whether their gender is fixed and unchanging). However, when given a choice between imitating a same-sex model performing a relatively unpleasant task and an opposite-sex model enacting a more pleasant behavior, high gender-constant children were more likely to indicate an imitative preference for the same-sex model than low gender-constant children.
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Concepts of gender differentiation in children and adolescents (from 5 to 13 years of age) as well as their domain-specific social judgments were examined. Subjects were presented with depictions of cross-gender activities in physical appearance, as well as with other types of social transgressions. Subjects were first administered a sorting task to assess their evaluations of the different types of transgression. Assessments were also made of subjects' judgments about the flexibility and relativity of the cross-gender activities and their personal commitment to gender boundaries. The results revealed a pattern of U-shaped behavioral growth in the assessment of cross-gender transgressions, but not for the other social transgressions. Young children and adolescents regarded the crossing of stereotyped gender boundaries as more wrong, and expressed a greater personal commitment to sex-role regularity, than did children in middle childhood. The results showed, however, that although both young children and adolescents view gender differentiations as an aspect of psychological-personal identity, their conceptions of identity differ. In middle childhood, gender regularities are viewed as external and modifiable social expectations.
Article
355 first-, third-, and fifth-grade children from a middle-class school were asked to rate each of 40 adult occupations as male, female, or neutral, in terms of their attitudes about which sex has the abilities to do each job. Forced-choice responses included categories ranging from extremely sex typed (e. g., "only women"), moderately sex typed (e. g., "mostly men, a few women"), to neutral (e. g., "men and women"). Results indicated that, (1) for jobs stereotyped as neutral or male by the children, older children were more flexible in their stereotypes than younger children; (2) also within the neutral and male job classifications, males rated the jobs as more male oriented than did females; and (3) within the female job classification, there were no age or sex disagreements. These results are discussed in view of a sex-role-development model which utilizes the cognitive developmental processing changes proposed by Piaget in conjunction with social-learning mechanisms for acquiring cultural knowledge.
Article
To examine the relationship between children's gender attitudes and memories, 57 first and second graders were shown pictures of people in various occupations and activities and were tested for recognition memory. Of the original 60 pictures, 20 were traditional (e. g., female secretary), 20 nontraditional (e. g., male secretary), and 20 neutral (e. g., man reading a newspaper). Children were given a recognition task with 30 of the original pictures and 30 new pictures, in which the sex of the actor had been reversed. A stereotyping measure was also given to classify children as having high or low gender stereotypes. Results showed that on new items, the low number of false recognitions precluded meaningful subject or task effects. On old items, children with relatively highly stereotyped gender attitudes recognized significantly more traditional than nontraditional pictures when the actor was male. Children with low gender stereotypes did not show this differential responding. Results suggest that children's memories are affected by their own gender attitudes and by the differential evaluation of men and women engaged in nontraditional activities.
Article
Both social learning and cognitive-developmental theories propose that acquisition of sex-role knowledge depends upon some mechanism of selective attention to same-sex models. In 2 experiments, pictures of a male and female model performing matched acts were shown, and visual attention was assessed by the method of feedback electroencephalography (EEG). Recall and preference for the slides were also measured. In experiments 1 and 2, 48 children (ages 5-6 and 9-10) viewed models performing sex-appropriate, sex-inappropriate, and sex-neutral tasks. No difference was found in the EEG attentional measures for the male versus female slides. In experiment 1 the children recalled and preferred the same-sex task and preferred the same-sex model. In experiment 2 the children, regardless of gender, recalled more of the male than the female slides. Males preferred the male tasks while females preferred male and female tasks equally. It was concluded that there is no evidence in these studies for selective attention to same-sex models. It was shown with appropriate comparison conditions that the finding of no difference (null) could not be attributed to insensitivity of the alpha-blocking response as an index of visual attention: significant differences of alpha blocking were associated with shifts of visual attention which were included as control conditions in the experiments.
Article
A review of previous research on children's imitation suggested that the sex typing and sex appropriateness of a model's behavior might be more important than simply the sex of the model and observer in predicting later sex differences in imitation. To further study these variables, 32 boys and 32 girls were randomly assigned within sex to a 2 X 2 X 2 design in which children of both sexes observed videotaped male or female models displaying either masculine or feminine behavior. Also, 8 boys and 8 girls were assigned to a no-model control condition. Results indicated a significant interaction of sex of observer with sex typing of modeled behavior in which girls imitated modeled feminine behavior more than boys, regardless of the sex of the model displaying this sex-typed behavior. The pattern of results for boys suggested a trend toward greater imitation of masculine modeled behavior as compared to girls, again independent of the sex of the model. These results suggested that a major factor in sex differences in children's imitation is the sex appropriateness of the modeled behavior relative to the observer when a sex-typed behavior is modeled.
Article
The thesis of the present paper is that sex stereotyping is a normal cognitive process and is best examined in terms of information-processing constructs. A model is proposed in which stereotypes are assumed to function as schemas that serve to organize and structure information. The particular schemas involved in stereotyping are described, and the functions and biases associated with these schemas are elaborated. Both the development and maintenance of stereotypes are explained using the schematic processing model. The schematic model is found to be useful for explaining many of the results from sex-typing and stereotyping studies, as well as indicating areas needing further investigation. To describe the relation between sex schemas and other types of schemas, a typology is proposed which divides schemas according to whether they are potentially self-defining and according to their salience or availability. Using the typology, stereotyping and sex stereotyping are said to occur because the schemas involved are self-defining and salient. The role of salience in mediating the use of schemas is discussed.
Article
32 preschool boys and girls heard 2 stories: 1 about a character of their sex and 1 about a character of the opposite sex. A significant number of subjects preferred the story where the character displayed accurate behavior for the sex. Higher mean scores for recall were recorded for the story where the character's sex role was atypical. The scores were significant for both male and female subjects.
Article
An investigation was made of relationships between children's understanding of gender constancy, their conceptions of sex-role stereotypes, their perceptions of similarities between themselves and other children, and their schematic processing of gender-relevant choices. Forty-nine children between 36 and 73 months of age participated in a two-part interview which assessed gender constancy, knowledge and notions of flexibility in sex stereotypes, perceptions of similarities between themselves and pictured children, preferences for sex-typed toys, and schematic-based processing of toy preferences. Overall analyses indicated that children's knowledge of sex-role stereotypes for their own and the opposite sex and their preferences for sex-appropriate, neutral, and inappropriate toys were best predicted by their level of gender schematization. Gender constancy stage was unrelated to any of the dependent measures. Finally, children's perceptions of similarities between themselves and other children appeared to focus largely on gender and toy-stereotype characteristics regardless of the age, stage of gender constancy, or degree of gender schematization. Findings support the use of a gender schematic approach to sex-role socialization and challenge the use of the construct of gender constancy. (Author/RH)
Article
Tested the hypothesis that activity level is a confounded dimension of sex-related toy preference since many stereotypically masculine toys elicit more motor activity than stereotypically feminine toys. The sex appropriateness and activity level dimensions of toy choice were manipulated in descriptions of unseen toys to force the choice of one dimension over the other in 65 children between the ages of 34 and 74 mo. Ss were also interviewed to determine their gender understanding and stability. 78.5% based toy choice on sex appropriateness rather than activity level. Ss who had attained gender stability were more apt to value sex appropriateness over activity level as a basis for choice than Ss who had not attained stability. The child's knowledge of gender stability is thought to enhance the importance of sex appropriateness as a toy choice criterion. (13 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The hypothesis that sex role development depends in part on children's tendencies to imitate same-sex individuals more than opposite-sex models is central to most theories of sex typing. Yet E. E. Maccoby and C. N. Jacklin (1974), in a review of the literature, conclude that the hypothesis has been disconfirmed. It is argued here that the research on which Maccoby and Jacklin based their conclusion is weak both methodologically and conceptually. This article presents a modified social learning theory account of the contribution of imitation to sex role development. It is suggested that children learn which behaviors are appropriate to each sex by observing differences in the frequencies with which male and female models as groups perform various responses in given situations. Furthermore, children employ these abstractions of what constitutes male-appropriate and female-appropriate behavior as models for their imitative performance. Exp I, with 48 male and 48 female 8–9 yr olds, confirmed that children engage in these processes. Exp II, with 42 male and 42 female 8-yr-olds, extended the validity of the formulation. It was shown that a child's imitation of an adult is strongly influenced by the degree to which the child believes that the adult usually displays behaviors that are appropriate to the child's sex. Present results reinstate same-sex imitation as a viable mechanism of sex role development. (33 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Gender schema theory proposes that the phenomenon of sex typing derives, in part, from gender-based schematic processing— a generalized readiness to process information on the basis of the sex-linked associations that constitute the gender schema. In particular, the theory proposes that sex typing results from the fact that the self-concept itself is assimilated in the gender schema. Several studies are described, including 2 experiments with 96 male and 96 female undergraduates, that demonstrate that sex-typed individuals do, in fact, have a greater readiness to process information—including information about the self—in terms of the gender schema. It is speculated that such gender-based schematic processing derives, in part, from the society's ubiquitous insistence on the functional importance of the gender dichotomy. The political implications of gender schema theory and its relationship to the concept of androgyny are discussed. (36 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Contains Psychopathology of Everyday Life, The Interpretation of Dreams, Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex, Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious, Totem and Taboo, and The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement, all translated by A. A. Brill. Harvard Book List (edited) 1949 #31 (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examined the information processing consequences of self-schemas about gender in 2 studies (467 undergraduates). Systematic differences in cognitive performance were observed among Ss identified as masculine schematics, feminine schematics, low androgynous, and high androgynous (Bem Sex-Role Inventory). Feminine schematics remembered more feminine than masculine attributes, endorsed more feminine qualities, required shorter processing times for "me" judgments to these attributes, were more confident of their judgments, and were able to supply relatively more examples of past feminine than masculine behavior. A parallel pattern of results was found for masculine stimuli in masculine schematics. Androgynous Ss recalled as many masculine as feminine attributes and did not differentiate between masculine and feminine attributes with respect to latency or confidence. Comparison of the 2 groups of androgynous Ss shows that only low androgynous Ss should be considered aschematic with respect to gender. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Sex role development was studied in seventh graders, twelfth graders, and adults. A 1976 cross-sectional study by Urberg and Labouvie-Vief was replicated 2 years later and the results examined for evidence of age and cultural change in degree of sex role stereotyping. Twelfth graders were found to be the most stereotyped and adults the least, with no significant differences between older and younger adults. Cultural change was evident for some of the traits examined, but the degree to which the subjects used stereotypes did not change. Male and female subjects described themselves in almost identical terms but engaged in stereotyping when describing an opposite-sex ideal. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
On the basis of male and female sex stereotypes defined in a study of young adults, a children's picture-story technique known as the Sex Stereotype Measure was developed and administered to 284 Euro-American kindergartners and 2nd and 4th graders. Principal findings were (a) Kindergartners show an appreciable degree of knowledge of adult sex stereotypes. (b) This knowledge increases to the Grade 2 level but shows no further increase during the next 2 yrs. (c) Knowledge of sex stereotypes appears to develop in a similar manner among both boys and girls. (c) The male stereotype is learned at an earlier age than the female stereotype. (e) Expression of stereotypic responses sometimes is influenced by the sex of the examiner. It is concluded that this method represents a promising approach to the assessment of sex stereotypes in preschool and early school-age children. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Assessed a total of 119 preschool children with the Sex Role Learning Index (SERLI), a picture-choice instrument designed to compare children's preferences to both sex role stereotypes and each child's conception of what is sex appropriate. Boys showed higher masculine preferences in the section depicting child figures than in the section depicting adult figures, while girls showed more feminine preferences in the adult figures than child figures section. Boys were more masculine in their preferences than girls were feminine in the child figures section, but not in the adult figures section. Girls were also found to adhere more to their own conceptions of what is sex appropriate than to sex role stereotypes in the child figures section. Boy's scores in the adult figures section correlated significantly with MA and IQ, while girls' scores in the child figures section correlated with CA. Boys' scores on the SERLI were significantly correlated with scores on the It Scale for Children, but girls' scores were not. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Criticizes interpretations of Piaget's writings which take his observations rather than his theory as a basis for reforming elementary school education. Core concepts from the psychological aspects of Piaget's genetic epistemology are restated, and it is argued that the clinical method which he used to discover universals of intellectual development is just as relevant for classroom teaching. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two widely used tests of gender constancy, one verbal and one perceptual, were given to 26 4-to-6-year-old children. Children were classified at different levels of gender constancy, depending on which test was used. These discrepant results were not accounted for by the differences in the way the tests presented (verbally or visually), nor by the tests' differing definitions of gender constancy. The majority of the children answered gender constancy questions as though they were referring to a pretend, as opposed to a real, situation; such responses decreased scores of gender constancy on both tests. The theoretical and methodological implications of children spontaneously adopting a pretend mode of responding are discussed.
Article
Social learning and cognitive-developmental theories of sex-role acquisition have yet to receive clear and unequivocal research support. While it is apparent that sex-typing of interests and behaviors does occur in early childhood, we are at a loss to explain the mechanisms involved. A model of sex roles as rules is presented, which attempts to analyze the acquisition of sex roles as similar to the process of pattern recognition in vision and speech. Social learning theory can help to account for how the child acquires the distinctive features of sex-role patterns, while cognitive-developmental theory points to the categories that are essential in this process.
Article
The immediate impact on preschool and elementary school children of a televised presentation in which the traditional sex roles of physician and nurse were reversed was examined. After viewing a videotape of a male nurse and a female physician, subjects were asked to identify photographs or names of the physician and nurse. Preschool, first-, and fourth-grade children selected male names or pictures for the physician and female names or pictures for the nurse, thereby reversing genders. Their immediate recall appeared strongly influenced by their stereotypes rather than by the film they had just viewed. Seventh-grade children correctly identified the names of the physician and nurse.
Article
Sex-role concepts in 140 children aged 3 to 7 were assessed by means of an instrument that allowed children to categorize attributes as being characteristic of males only, females only, both males and females, or nobody. The children sorted attributes once for adult peer stimulus figures and once for peer stimulus figures. The relationship of gender conservation to the degree of stereotyping of children's response was also investigated. The overlap children saw between characteristics of males and females increased with age over the age span studied. Girls were less sex-typed than boys, particularly those girls whose mothers were employed. Gender conservation was associated with decreased sex-typing. The tendency of children to assign positive attributes to their own sex and negative attributes to the other sex peaked at age 5. Subjects overall were less sex-typed in their views of adults than peers.
Article
This study assessed children's preferences and recall for stereotyped versus non-stereotyped stories. The sample consisted of 32 preschool children, ranging in age from 60 months to 75 months. Four stories with boys or girls as the main character, each portraying typically masculine or feminine activities, were read to each child. Both preference and recall measures were obtained immediately and one day later. The hypothesis was confirmed that the stories were differentially preferred by boys and girls as a function of stereotyping of story. Girls preferred the story with a female character and a feminine activity and least preferred the story with a male character and a masculine activity. For boys, the reverse was true. The second choice for both boys and girls involved preference for activity, not sex of main character. A cross-lagged panel revealed that preference at Time 1 was causally related to recall at Time 2. The children remembered the most at Time 2 about the stories they liked the least at Time 1.
Article
This study considered how children coordinate their understandings of gender identity and sex stereotypes to produce sex-typed preferences. Sex-typed preferences and gender constancy were assessed at ages 4 through 8 years on a cross section of urban black and white children (N=819). Findings verified that sex-stereotyped preferences are highly developed among young children prior to the period when gender constancy is fully developed. Additionally, by age 5, most children accurately attributed sex-stereotyped preferences to peers of the opposite sex. A distinction was made between a sex stereotype and a same-sex bias as a basis for a sex-typed preference. Gender constancy was shown to strengthen the same-sex bias as a determinant of a sex-typed preference, but this effect was context specific. Under certain conditions sex-stereotyped knowledge constrained the same-sex bias as a determinant of preferential choice.
Article
128 children between ages of 5 and 6 years were shown 4 films depicting all possible combinations of female and male physicians and nurses. Results showed that when confronted with counter-stereotypical occupational portrayals, children were likely to relabel them into the typical instance of the male physician and the female nurse. There was a stronger tendency for the subjects to relabel the male nurse than to relabel the female physician. The children's relabeling of the roles presented was not due to inattention to the stimulus materials (videotapes). Neither sex, nor age, nor the number of physician visits in the last year were related to the frequency of relabeling. Maternal employment and exposure to real male nurses were related to correct identification of the male nurse and the female physician. The results suggest that the relabeling and its asymmetric character may be due to the differential exposure of children to female physicians and male nurses.
Article
The chief purpose of this study was to examine the development of stable concepts of "boy" and "girl" (gender identity constancy) in kindergartners and first and second graders. Gender constancy was explored in relation to cognitive level (assessed both by grade and conservation measures); whether the concept was applied to the subject himself or to another child; whether the concept was applied to live children or pictorial representations; and sex role preferences (games, television characters, peer preferences). In support of a cognitive-developmental position, gender constancy was found to be related to cognitive level, and most children conformed to a developmental sequence (Guttman scalogram) in which conservation preceded gender constancy. Gender constancy performance was better when the concept was applied to the self versus another child and when applied to pictorial representations versus live forms. Gender constancy was not related to sex role preferences.
Article
A series of tests was designed for 24-, 30-, and 36-month-old children to measure their ability to apply various gender labels to the appropriate sexes, their capacity to place themselves in their own gender category, and their usage of labels to guide preference behavior. Also, the child's awareness of sex role stereotyping and the relationship of the above measures to parental SES and sex role attitudes were examined. In general, unlike the younger children, the oldest children consistently applied gender labels properly, were certain of their own gender, used same-sex gender labels to guide behavior, and were aware of sex role stereotyping. There was no relation between these measures and demographic variables.
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4 developmental levels of gender constancy were identified in 55 preschool-age children on the basis of a reproducible Guttman scale of answers to sets of questions pertaining to gender identity, gender stability over time, and gender consistency across situations. Children's developmental level of gender constancy was predictive of the amount and the proportion of time they attended to an adult male and an adult female film model. As boys developed gender constancy, their relative preference for watching the male model increased significantly; as girls developed gender constancy, their relative preference for watching the female model increased, though not significantly. At the more advanced levels of gender constancy, boys watched the male model more than did girls. It was suggested that same-sex social learning may develop as a function of children's cognitive understanding of gender as an identifiable, stable and consistent human attribute.
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The present study represented a cognitive-developmental analysis of the effects of televised, sex-stereotypic information on children's behavior and attitudes toward toy play. The subjects were 50 male and 50 female 4-6-year-olds divided into high and low gender-constancy levels. As the children watched a cartoon, they either saw a commercial of a gender-neutral toy that showed 2 boys or 2 girls playing with the toy, or they saw no commercial (control). As predicted, only the high gender-constant children were differentially affected by the sex-role information in the different commercial conditions. Children at this stage who saw opposite-sex children playing with the toy avoided spending time with the toy and stated verbally that the toy was more appropriate for an opposite-sex sibling, relative to children in the 2 other conditions. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for theories of sex-role development and in terms of the role that television may play in maintaining sex stereotypes and sex-typed behavior.
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Theories of motivation built upon primary drives cannot account for playful and exploratory behavior. The new motivational concept of "competence" is introduced indicating the biological significance of such behavior. It furthers the learning process of effective interaction with the environment. While the purpose is not known to animal or child, an intrinsic need to deal with the environment seems to exist and satisfaction ("the feeling of efficacy") is derived from it. (100 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
A technique was developed for measuring avoidance of inappropriate sex-typing uncontaminated by sex-appropriate preferences. 69 boys and 78 girls, ages 3 through 8, were observed while playing with sex-inappropriate and neutral toys. Latency of orienting to inappropriate toys was longer for older than younger boys, but no age difference was found for girls. Percent of time spent with inappropriate toys was lower for older than younger children of both sexes. Latencies for boys, but not girls, were longer when E was present than when absent. E's presence did not affect percent-inappropriate scores of either boys or girls. These avoidance measures were not correlated with M-F scores on the It Scale for Children.
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Influence of Gender Constancy and Social Power on Sex-Linked Modeling Stereotype Knowledge, Flex-ibility, and Gender Constancy
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Non-Monotonic Developmental Trends in Social Cognition: The Case of Gender Constancy LI-Shaped Behavioral Growth Evidence for a Transitional Phase in the Development of Gender Constancy
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