A developmental model of gender-stereotype acquisition (Martin, 1989) proposes that by the age of 8 years children draw upon information about gender-stereotyped interests as well as other children's sex when deciding how much other children would like different activities; younger children rely on sex only when making such decisions. We examined whether the judgments that children made about other children's preferences were different from those that they made about their own preferences for masculine and feminine musical instruments. Three hundred twelve children aged 8–9 years ranked 6 instruments in order of preference, and rated on a 4-point scale how much they would like to play each one. Children were then asked to decide how much other children would like to play each instrument. Only girls' own preferences for feminine instruments differed according to the gender-stereotyping of their most-preferred instrument. Judgments about how much other children would like masculine and feminine instruments did not differ according to those children's gender-stereotyped interest. Children made stereotypical predictions about the preferences of children of unknown sex who played either a masculine or feminine instrument. Implications for a theoretical account of the development of children's gender-stereotypes are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2004
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