ERIC Number: EJ837828
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Boys Will Be Boys; Cows Will Be Cows: Children's Essentialist Reasoning about Gender Categories and Animal Species
Taylor, Marianne G.; Rhodes, Marjorie; Gelman, Susan A.
Child Development, v80 n2 p461-481 Mar-Apr 2009
Two studies (N = 456) compared the development of concepts of animal species and human gender, using a switched-at-birth reasoning task. Younger children (5- and 6-year-olds) treated animal species and human gender as equivalent; they made similar levels of category-based inferences and endorsed similar explanations for development in these 2 domains. In contrast, 10-year-olds and adults treated gender and species concepts as distinct from one another. They viewed gender-linked behavioral properties as open to environmental influence and endorsed environment-based mechanisms to explain gender development. At all ages, children demonstrated differentiated reasoning about physical and behavioral properties, although this differentiation became more stable with age. The role of psychological essentialism in guiding conceptual development is discussed.
Descriptors: Animals, Classification, Environmental Influences, Inferences, Gender Differences, Young Children, Cognitive Processes, Thinking Skills, Children, Adults, Developmental Stages, Concept Formation
Blackwell Publishing. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8599; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/jnl_default.asp
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A