Dissertation > Philosophy, religion > Psychology > Developmental psychology ( human psychology ) > Child Psychology

Development of Children’ Gender Stereotypes and Influence on Social Judgments

Author ZhanXin
Tutor WangMeiFang
School Shandong Normal University
Course Developmental and Educational Psychology
Keywords gender stereotypes vertical associations horizontal associations social judgments
CLC B844.1
Type Master's thesis
Year 2006
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Gender stereotypes, as an important pattern of stereotypes, were a more activepart of social-cognitive researches over the last few decades. They had a penetrativeimpact on children’ socialization, made children act with their own gender andassimilate the behavior norms expected by society. In the present thesis, acomprehensive literature review was made with regard to gender stereotypes. Furtheranalyses were focused on the limitations in the prior research. On the basis of those,three related studies were conducted with a sample of 210 children from akindergarten and a primary school to explore how much children had the knowledgeof gender stereotypes and how children’ gender stereotypes developed.The findings in the above three studies are as follows:1 Young children had the basic knowledge of gender stereotypes, and they hadknown the simple stereotypic associations between gender labels and interests,vocations, appearances or traits.2 With age, children learned more and more knowledge of gender stereotypes.Older children’s gender stereotypes are more extreme than those of younger children.Moreover, girls’ stereotypic judgment are more flexible than boys’.3 Children demonstrated selective gender stereotypes: with age, more concreteand obvious characteristics, such as toys and appearance, were learned more quicklythan abstract characteristics (e.g., vocations and traits).4 Young children used the sex of others more likely, and with age, they trendedto use the gender-related information to make predictions. Under the condition ofinconsistent gender-and-interest information, children were more likely to makevertical inference about other’s gender-typing characteristics based on categoryinformation than individual information.5 Children appeared first to learn associations among characteristics relevant totheir own sex and, later, to learn them for the other sex.6 Children’ stereotypic judgments occurred within-component judgments priorto between-component judgments. With age, children appeared first to make inferencebased on the own-sex information within a component, and then trended to makebetween-component judgments on the basis of opposite-sex information.7 Children’s gender stereotypes influenced their cognitive inference, that is,consistency of a target child’s past information with gender stereotypes affectedpredictions about the target’s peer preference, popularity in peers, choices of activitiesand future behavior. With age, children predicted that targets would like same-sexpeers, be accepted by same-sex peers and choice gender-consistent activities andbehaviors.8 Children’s gender stereotypes influenced their emotion judgments. Givenconsistent or inconsistent information with gender stereotypes, children would morelike the same-sex target children whose behavior were appropriate to them

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