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Gender-stereotyped preferences in childhood and early adolescence: a comparison of cross-sectional and longitudinal data


Kanka, Margit H; Wagner, Petra; Buchmann, Marlis; Spiel, Christiane (2017). Gender-stereotyped preferences in childhood and early adolescence: a comparison of cross-sectional and longitudinal data. European Journal of Developmental Psychology:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Children are exposed to a gender-specific environment on an everyday basis through media, books, school supplies and especially toys. Children’s movies and television programs were found to portray protagonists’ occupational and private roles in a very traditional, gender-stereotypical way. The present two studies aimed to investigate gender-specific preferences in childhood and early adolescence. Cross-sectional data (study 1) were compared to longitudinal one (study 2) as we specifically aimed to investigate changes in gender preferences over time. A person-oriented approach, namely Configural Frequency Analysis was applied, to categorically analyze the relationship and development of gender-stereotyped preferences throughout childhood and early adolescence. Consistent with former studies, study 1 showed that gender-stereotypical preferences increased by age, for boys to a higher extent than for girls. By the age of twelve, these preferences had decreased supporting the theory of Kohlberg that children’s gender-stereotypic preferences continuously grow until around six years of age to finally lower thereafter. Gender-specific preferences generally became much more flexible over time.

Abstract

Children are exposed to a gender-specific environment on an everyday basis through media, books, school supplies and especially toys. Children’s movies and television programs were found to portray protagonists’ occupational and private roles in a very traditional, gender-stereotypical way. The present two studies aimed to investigate gender-specific preferences in childhood and early adolescence. Cross-sectional data (study 1) were compared to longitudinal one (study 2) as we specifically aimed to investigate changes in gender preferences over time. A person-oriented approach, namely Configural Frequency Analysis was applied, to categorically analyze the relationship and development of gender-stereotyped preferences throughout childhood and early adolescence. Consistent with former studies, study 1 showed that gender-stereotypical preferences increased by age, for boys to a higher extent than for girls. By the age of twelve, these preferences had decreased supporting the theory of Kohlberg that children’s gender-stereotypic preferences continuously grow until around six years of age to finally lower thereafter. Gender-specific preferences generally became much more flexible over time.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:27 Feb 2018 15:50
Last Modified:14 Mar 2018 17:57
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1740-5610
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17405629.2017.1365703

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