There are striking differences between boys' andgirls' art during the elementary school years, but it isunknown whether such artistic gender differences emergeearlier in childhood. We tested 20 preschoolers (12 boys, 8 girls) and 29 kindergartners (15boys, 14 girls), most White and middle-class, on threetasks to assess gender-stereotypicality in theirdrawings and preferences for pictures. As predicted, in a production task, boys and girls drewgender stereotypical pictures, though neither group wasextremely stereotypical. Interestingly, evenpre-representational preschoolers' scribbles were ratedas gender-stereotypical, despite the absence ofidentifiable thematic content. In a second task,children chose coloring-book sheets, previously ratedfor gender-stereotypicality, which they expected tocolor. Boys chose masculine and girls chose femininesheets. In a third task, boys and girls preferredgender-stereotypical pictures and were similar in howstrongly stereotypic their choices were. The tasksdemonstrate that gender differences in artistic productionand preference emerge in the preschool years, earlierthan previously reported. Beneficial future work wouldaddress relations between children's artistic production and preference and their genderschema flexibility and socializationexperiences.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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