ERIC Number: ED406049
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Preschool Children's Attitudes about Deviations from Gender-Role Behaviors.
Blakemore, Judith E. Owen; Russ, Lisa S.
This study examined 3- to 7-year old children's knowledge about gender roles and moral and social norms, their beliefs about the possibility of violating these roles and norms, and their attitudes about children who do. The gender role norms were grouped into several categories: toys, games, play styles, adult occupations, adult parental roles, hairstyles, and clothing. Participants were 90 children divided into three age groups; they were asked individually about 20 items concerning gender, moral, and social transgressions and used a "smiley face" Likert scale in responding. Results showed that the study's first hypothesis, that children's knowledge about gender, social, and moral norms increases between the ages of 3 and 7, was supported. The second hypothesis, that beliefs about whether it is possible to violate gender norms would increase with age, was not confirmed. Regardless of age, children generally believed it was possible to violate almost all the norms, with social and moral norms harder to violate than gender norms. The third hypothesis, that moral violations would be judged to be more serious than violations of social or gender norms, was confirmed, as was the fourth hypothesis, that boys' gender-role violations involving physical appearance would be judged to be more serious than similar transgressions by girls. (Contains 21 references.) (EV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (62nd, Washington, DC, April 3-6, 1997).