The effects of gendered information in stories on preschool children's development of gender stereotypes

Faculty/Professorship: Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) 
Author(s): Seitz, Maximilian ; Lenhart, Jan  ; Rübsam, Nina
Title of the Journal: The British journal of developmental psychology
ISSN: 0261-510X, 2044-835X
Publisher Information: Hoboken, NJ, USA [u.a.] : Wiley
Year of publication: 2020
Volume: 38
Issue: 3
Pages: 363-390
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1111/bjdp.12323
Social-cognitive theory posits that children learn gender stereotypes through gendered information. The present study examined whether children learn new gender stereotypes from stories when unknown words are linked to a gendered protagonist or context information. In Experiment 1, 40 3- to 6-year-old preschoolers were read stories with either a gendered protagonist embedded within a non-gendered context, or a non-gendered protagonist embedded within a gendered context. In Experiment 2, the same sample of children were read stories with the protagonist and the context displaying congruent or incongruent gender information. Each story featured an unknown activity linked with the stereotypical content. Both experiments indicate that the children rated the activity according to both the gender of the context and of the protagonist; however, the effect of the latter was stronger. In addition, children showed higher interest in the unknown activity if the protagonist’s gender matched their own sex. Thus, gender information in stories influences how children perceive unknown words.
GND Keywords: Geschlechterstereotyp; Vorschulkind
Keywords: gender development, gender stereotypes, shared-reading, social-cognitive theory
DDC Classification: 370 Education  
RVK Classification: DP 3000   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 12. July 2021
Intersectional Topic: Geschlechtersensible Forschung