Children's Use of Gender-Related Information in Making Social Judgments

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156 Scopus citations


Tested how children use information about others' sex, sex-typed interests, and cross-sex labels to make predictions. 72 children (4-10 years) heard descriptions of girls and boys with either stereotypic, counterstereotypic, or neutral interests, or they were labeled as tomboys or sissies. Children rated how much they and other boys and girls would like each child and predicted how much each child would want to play with 4 sex-typed toys. Both younger and older children liked same-sex children and disliked tomboys and sissies. In contrast, younger and older children used information differently when predicting toy preferences. Young children ignored targets' interests and based their judgments on targets' sex, whereas older children used both types of information. These results may be due to younger and older children's different processing abilities, to age changes in gender stereotypes, or to both.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-88
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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