When processing gender-related information, children have difficulty remembering materials that are counterstereotypic or that are associated more strongly with the other sex. We investigated whether encoding difficulties account for these memory problems. Children (kindergarten through Grade 3) were shown pictures of men and women in traditional, nontraditional, or neutral roles. Some children were given stimulus labels at acquisition to simplify the encoding task. Free-recall data revealed biases in the direction of gender stereotypes, irrespective of label vs. no-label conditions (Studies 1 and 2) and of slower vs. faster presentation rates (Study 2). Results suggest that an inability to encode at acquisition is probably not the major cause of gender-related biases observed in later recall and have implications for the development of intervention programs designed to reduce gender-schematic processing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies