Children's beliefs about gender differences were investigated among a sample of younger and older elementary school students (total N = 120). Beliefs about gender differences in math, spelling, physical aggression, relational aggression, and prosocial tendencies were assessed using 3 methods that varied in the extent to which gender was referenced overtly. Children who made systematic gender distinctions tended to associate prosocial tendencies and success in spelling with girls and physical and relational aggression with boys. Perceived gender differences were minimal for math, and those that were seen were consistent with same-sex biases. Children who associated positive characteristics with girls tended to associate negative characteristics with boys. Although results were generally consistent across measures, children were more likely to show same-sex preferences when they were asked to compare boys and girls explicitly.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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