Gender constancy: A methodological and theoretical analysis

Carol Lynn Martin, Charles F. Halverson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Two widely used tests of gender constancy, one verbal and one perceptual, were given to 26 4-to-6-year-old children. Children were classified at different levels of gender constancy, depending on which test was used. These discrepant results were not accounted for by the differences in the way the tests presented (verbally or visually), nor by the tests' differing definitions of gender constancy. The majority of the children answered gender constancy questions as though they were referring to a "pretend," as opposed to a "real," situation; such responses decreased scores of gender constancy on both tests. The theoretical and methodological implications of children spontaneously adopting a pretend mode of responding are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-790
Number of pages16
JournalSex Roles
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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