The present study examines gender differences in children's encoding of gender-connotation from words. The release from proactive interference method was used to measure gender-connotation encoding. Forty-eight third-grade children attending a public elementary school serving a predominantly White middle-socioeconomic-status community participated and were presented with stimulus words in print. The design of the study can be characterized as a two (gender) by two (condition: control vs. experimental) by four (trials) factorial. Results revealed reliable proactive interference buildup and release for gender-connotation for girls, but not for boys. This new finding, taken together with extant research, demonstrates that while both boys and girls have the ability to encode gender-connotation from aurally presented words, the spontaneous activation of gender-connotation attributes with print is not guaranteed for boys.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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