ERIC Number: ED203992
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Gender Constancy and Sibling Status.
Katz, Phyllis A.; Rank, Sara Anne
To test effects of family constellation on children's acquisition of sex-role, the sex-role behavior of 175 children between the ages of 3 and one half and 6 years from one-child and two-child families was compared. Included in the design were five categories: only children, and four additional categories based on sex and relative age of siblings (i.e., male or female, older, younger). Measures were obtained on gender constancy, toy and activity preference, personality attributes, preferences for stereotyped versus non-stereotyped activities in others and perceptions of friend's and sibling's likely choices of toys and activities. Results indicate that the presence of siblings in the family is not an essential condition for learning the gender curriculum. Gender itself is probably more important in determining sex-role content and orientation than are family constellation variables. Family constellation was not related to acquisition of gender constancy. Particularly for girls, sibling status was related to both knowledge about cultural stereotypes and sex-role flexibility. Only children (particularly girls) were generally more knowledgeable about various kinds of stereotypic information. Despite this, girls were less traditional in their preferences and more androgynous in their self-descriptions than were other groups. Female only children were the most extreme in terms of flexibility of gender roles. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Boston, MA, April 2-5, 1981).