ERIC Number: ED248970
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Reference Count: 0
Developmental Changes in the Influence of Sex-Role Stereotypes on Person Perception.
Sigelman, Carol K.; And Others
This study examines the reactions of children and adolescents to stories about fictional boys and girls who act across three behavioral episodes in either masculine-stereotyped or feminine-stereotyped ways. Trait dimensions chosen for investigation were: (1) logical and steady versus excitable and emotional; (2) adventurous and risk-taking versus timid and cautious; and (3) rude versus polite. Three pairs of vignettes were developed to convey the six stereotyped traits. Participating were 51 third and fourth graders, 51 seventh and eighth graders, and 48 eleventh and twelfth graders. In the study both the target's gender and the target's behavior were manipulated such that each subject heard all three masculine or all three feminine vignettes, the protagonist for which was either a girl or a boy. After each of the three vignettes was read to the subject, a six-point Likert scale item was administered to assess liking for the target's behavior. Trait perceptions were measured through a yes-no checklist of 24 sex-stereotyped adjectives. Finally, a true-false memory test consisting of 24 statements about things that might have been done or said in the vignettes was administered. Behavior was by far the most powerful influence on liking, masculine-feminine trait inferences, and masculine-feminine memory bias. However, third and fourth graders tended to like children whose behavior was sex-appropriate better than those whose behavior was sex-inappropriate; seventh and eighth graders tended to prefer sex-inappropriate targets; and eleventh and twelfth graders showed the greatest concern with sex-role conformity. Liking, trait inference, and memory bias were closely interrelated only in later adolescence. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Developmental Patterns; Person Perception
Note: From a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (Chicago, IL, May 3-5, 1984).