Gender Essentialism in Children and Parents: Implications for the Development of Gender Stereotyping and Gender-Typed Preferences

Gender Essentialism in Children and Parents: Implications for the Development of Gender... Psychological essentialism is a set of lay beliefs about categories, according to which certain categories are seen as natural and arising from an inborn, causal force or “essence.” Social categories, including gender, are often essentialized by both adults and children. The current study examines how gender essentialism relates to other gender-relevant beliefs and preferences, in both a child sample (5- to 7-year-olds) and an adult sample (the children’s parents). Children’s and parents’ essentialism predicted children’s gender-typed preferences, but not children’s prescriptive stereotyping. In contrast, parents’ essentialism predicted their own prescriptive stereotyping, but not their gender-typed preferences. Implications of these findings are discussed in the contexts of (a) past findings linking essentialism with stereotyping and (b) the practical implications of developmental shifts in the correlates of essentialism, including ways in which stereotyping and rigid beliefs about gender may be reduced. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Gender Essentialism in Children and Parents: Implications for the Development of Gender Stereotyping and Gender-Typed Preferences

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-016-0646-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Psychological essentialism is a set of lay beliefs about categories, according to which certain categories are seen as natural and arising from an inborn, causal force or “essence.” Social categories, including gender, are often essentialized by both adults and children. The current study examines how gender essentialism relates to other gender-relevant beliefs and preferences, in both a child sample (5- to 7-year-olds) and an adult sample (the children’s parents). Children’s and parents’ essentialism predicted children’s gender-typed preferences, but not children’s prescriptive stereotyping. In contrast, parents’ essentialism predicted their own prescriptive stereotyping, but not their gender-typed preferences. Implications of these findings are discussed in the contexts of (a) past findings linking essentialism with stereotyping and (b) the practical implications of developmental shifts in the correlates of essentialism, including ways in which stereotyping and rigid beliefs about gender may be reduced.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 27, 2016

References

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