Cognitive Mechanisms in Children's Gender Stereotyping: Theoretical and Educational Implications of a Cognitive‐based Intervention

Rebecca S. Bigler, Lynn S. Liben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

160 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study was designed to test the hypothesis derived from cognitive‐developmental theory that multiple classification skill plays an important role in children's gender stereotyping and in their processing of counterstereotypic gender information. Children (N= 75; 5‐10 years) were matched on pretest measures of gender stereotyping and multiple classification skill and then assigned to: (1) multiple classification training using nonsocial stimuli, (2) multiple classification training using social stimuli, (3) a rule training intervention, or (4) a control intervention. Children who had acquired multiple classification skill via training with social stimuli and those children trained on rules for occupational sorting showed significantly more egalitarian responding on a subsequent measure of gender stereotyping and superior memory for counterstereotypic information embedded in stories. Additionally, children who had acquired multiple classification skill via training with nonsocial stimuli showed superior memory for counterstereotypic information, despite demonstrating no greater flexibility on the gender stereotyping measure. Both theoretical and educational implications of results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1363
Number of pages13
JournalChild development
Volume63
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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