ERIC Number: ED294665
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Sex Stereotyping in Parents' Perceptions of Newborns.
Karraker, Katherine Hildebrandt; Vogel, Dena Ann
This study updates and extends the findings of Rubin, Provenzano, and Luria (1974), who found that parents perceived their newborn in sex stereotyped ways as early as a few hours after birth. In addition, fathers in their study showed more extreme sex stereotyping than mothers. Participants in the present study were 20 pairs of Caucasian, middle-class parents of first-born, healthy, vaginally-delivered newborns. Parents were interviewed 2 and 9 days after their infant's birth. Comparison of the Rubin et al. data and the day 2 data of this study revealed that fathers in this sample rated boys and girls much more similarly than the fathers in the previous study had. No significant differences were found in the extent to which mothers in the two studies rated boys and girls differently. Surprisingly, in the present study, mothers actually showed greater stereotyping than fathers on day 2, although this difference had declined and was no longer significant by day 9. Further analyses of the data were conducted to evaluate effects of infant sex, parent sex, and time of assessment on parents' ratings of their infants on specific adjective scales and on parents' reports of behaviors engaged in with infants. Despite the lack of objective differences between the girls and boys in the sample, some minor sex stereotyping differences were found; but in general, findings indicate that sex of newborn was not a compelling determinant of parental perceptions. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on Infant Studies (Washington, DC, April 21-24, 1988).