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Gender constancy and the effects of sex-typed televised toy commercials.

Authors
  • Ruble, D N
  • Balaban, T
  • Cooper, J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Child development
Publication Date
Jun 01, 1981
Volume
52
Issue
2
Pages
667–673
Identifiers
PMID: 7249827
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The present study represented a cognitive-developmental analysis of the effects of televised, sex-stereotypic information on children's behavior and attitudes toward toy play. The subjects were 50 male and 50 female 4-6-year-olds divided into high and low gender-constancy levels. As the children watched a cartoon, they either saw a commercial of a gender-neutral toy that showed 2 boys or 2 girls playing with the toy, or they saw no commercial (control). As predicted, only the high gender-constant children were differentially affected by the sex-role information in the different commercial conditions. Children at this stage who saw opposite-sex children playing with the toy avoided spending time with the toy and stated verbally that the toy was more appropriate for an opposite-sex sibling, relative to children in the 2 other conditions. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for theories of sex-role development and in terms of the role that television may play in maintaining sex stereotypes and sex-typed behavior.

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