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ERIC Number: ED219721
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Elementary Readers' Inference of Sex of Story Characters As an Indication of Developmental Sex Role Schemata.
Lovelace, Terry; Haase, Ann Marie B.
Three experiments using the same materials and methodology investigated the development of sex role stereotype schemata through the analysis of children's inferences of gender of protagonists in stories and through their preference for the protagonists. Thirteen sex role stereotypes whose validity was confirmed by five expert jurors were embedded in eight 200-word, first person narrative story segments on a fourth grade readability level. In each experiment, randomly selected fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students read along with investigators and then indicated the sex of the first person protagonist. Next they ranked the stories in order of preference from one to eight. The first experiment, conducted with 176 subjects, tested the students twice over a 5-week period to determine the reliability of their responses. The coefficient of stability was moderate. The second experiment tested the hypothesis that students are better able to determine the gender of a character as they age from fourth to sixth grade. However, results with 736 subjects revealed no significant difference for sex, state, or grade. In the last experiment, designed to determine the relationship of sex to preference, 866 subjects recognized sex stereotyped behavior, but their preferences showed high variability. It seems children are more concerned with a character's qualities than with his or her gender. (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A