The development of classificatory skills and sex-trait stereotypes in children
The development of knowledge of sex-trait stereotypes was related to changes in classification skills during childhood. Children of 4, 6, and 8 years of age were tested for knowledge of sex-trait stereotypes on the Williams, Bennett, and Best measure; ability to reclassify sex-traits; and on measures of consistent sorting and reclassification. Knowledge of sex-trait stereotypes improved with age and with performance on the consistent sorting task. Subjects who were able to recognize that sex traits are manifested by persons of both genders were older and more likely to pass measures of nonsocial reclassification. Claims that some males manifest feminine behavior did not change with age. The findings suggest that at first, traits are classified as stereotypical of a gender category; but with increasing cognitive level, these traits become less stereotypical of gender. © 1984 Plenum Publishing Corporation.
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