ERIC Number: ED179290
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Determinants of Sex-Role Flexibility in Children.
Katz, Phyllis A.
This study was designed to assess the relative importance of various factors influencing children's sex role orientations. A measure of sex role flexibility developed for this study and a self concept questionnaire were administered to 376 children in kindergarten and third grade. The children's parents were interviewed about sex role attitudes and socialization practices and were asked to fill out the Spence Attitudes Towards Women Scale and the Bem Sex Role Inventory for both themselves and their children. Results suggest that children begin elementary school with fairly stereotyped sex role orientations which become more traditional by the time children reach middle elementary school. Girls tend to be more flexible than boys in areas like occupational choices, but are less flexible in terms of personality traits and in their views about who should perform traditionally feminine-stereotyped activities. Older children perceived their parents as less traditional and exhibited more flexibility with regard to occupational choices. In most other respects, however, older children gave more traditional responses. Peer and media influences appear to be stronger correlates of sex role flexibility in children than perceived parental influences. Parents appeared to be less traditional than their children in overall orientations, with few differences obtained between mothers and fathers. Mothers tended to be somewhat more flexible in most areas, although fathers expressed more liberality in regard to mothers working. Parents of daughters were more flexible than parents of sons. There was a significant correlation between scores of parents and children. (JMB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, CA, March 15-18, 1979)