Gender-stereotyped preferences in childhood and early adolescence: A comparison of cross-sectional and longitudinal data

Margit Kanka, Petra Wagner, Marlis Buchmann, Christiane Spiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Children are exposed to a gender-specific environment on an everyday basis through media, books, school supplies and especially toys. Children’s movies and television programs were found to portray protagonists’ occupational and private roles in a very traditional, gender-stereotypical way. The present two studies aimed to investigate gender-specific preferences in childhood and early adolescence. Cross-sectional data (study 1) were compared to longitudinal one (study 2) as we specifically aimed to investigate changes in gender preferences over time. A person-oriented approach, namely Configural Frequency Analysis was applied, to categorically analyze the relationship and development of gender-stereotyped preferences throughout childhood and early adolescence. Consistent with former studies, study 1 showed that gender-stereotypical preferences increased by age, for boys to a higher extent than for girls. By the age of twelve, these preferences had decreased supporting the theory of Kohlberg that children’s gender-stereotypic preferences continuously grow until around six years of age to finally lower thereafter. Gender-specific preferences generally became much more flexible over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-214
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Developmental Psychology
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • childhood
  • early adolescence
  • gender differences
  • gender preferences
  • Sex roles

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Gender-stereotyped preferences in childhood and early adolescence: A comparison of cross-sectional and longitudinal data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this