Thirty toddlers (15 boys, 15 girls) participatedin a sequential touching task to examine their awarenessof own-sex and other-sex gender-typed, andnongender-typed, categories. Twenty-, 24-, and28-month-olds' awareness of gender-typed and non-gender-typedcategories were tested with contrasts of masculine,feminine, ball, and block categories. Toddlers' accuracyat labeling sex was also measured. Toddlers' patterns of touching to both nongender-typed (balls,blocks)and gender-typed (masculine toys, feminine toys)categories exceeded chance. Consistent with genderschema theory and research, boys and girls showedgreater than chance patterns of sequential touching toown-sexgender-typed category items, but notto other-sexgendertyped ones. Contrary to predictions, toddlers whocould accurately label sex (i.e., gender label) did not demonstrate greater sequential touchingof masculine or feminine gender-typed category itemsthan toddlers who could notgender label. Results suggesttoddlers possess greater awareness of gendertyped categories, particularly own-sex gender-typedones, than previously suggested. Additionally, toddlers'awareness of gender-typed categories does not appearrelated to their abilities to label accurately the sexes.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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