Boys will be boys: The effect of social evaluation concerns on gender-typing

Banerjee, Robin and Lintern, V (2000) Boys will be boys: The effect of social evaluation concerns on gender-typing. Social Development, 9 (3). pp. 397-408. ISSN 0961-205X

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Previous research has demonstrated that young children hold strong gender stereotypes for activities and toy, preferences. Some researchers have argued that this rigid gender-typing displayed by young children is associated with peer reinforcement for stereotypical behaviour and punishment of counterstereotypical behaviour. The present study tests the hypothesis that the gender-typing displayed by young children is at least in part an active self-presentational effort to win positive evaluation from peers. Sixty-four children aged between 4 and 9 years described themselves in terms of their activity and toy preferences, once when alone and once when in front of a group of same-sex peers. They also completed a task measuring the rigidity of their gender stereotypes. It was found using both group-bused and individual-based analyses that the children with the most rigid stereotypes-young boys-were more likely to present themselves as sex-typed in front of the peer audience than when alone. The older boys and the girls in all age groups tended to have less rigid stereotypes and their self-descriptions were in general not influenced by the presence of an audience. These results show that self-presentational concerns do influence children's gender-typed behaviour; and that these concerns may vary with age and gender.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Robin Banerjee
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:44
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2012 15:56
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