Voice cues influence children’s assessment of adults’ occupational competence

Cartei, Valentina, Oakhill, Jane, Garnham, Alan, Banerjee, Robin and Reby, David (2021) Voice cues influence children’s assessment of adults’ occupational competence. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior. ISSN 0191-5886

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Abstract

The adult voice is a strong bio-social marker for masculinity and femininity. In this study we investigated whether children make gender stereotypical judgments about adults’ occupational competence on the basis of their voice. Forty-eight 8- to 10- year olds were asked to rate the competence of adult voices that varied in vocal masculinity (by artificially manipulating voice pitch) and were randomly paired with 9 occupations (3 stereotypically male, 3 female, 3 gender-neutral). In line with gender stereotypes, children rated men as more competent for the male occupations and women as more competent for the female occupations. Moreover, children rated speakers of both sexes with feminine (high-pitched) voices as more competent for the female occupations. Finally, children rated men (but not women) with masculine (low-pitched) voices as more competent for stereotypically male occupations. Our results thus indicate that stereotypical voice-based judgments of occupational competence previously identified in adults are already present in children, and likely to affect how they consider adults and interact with them in their social environment.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2020 07:49
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2021 12:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/95898

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