Measures of Gender
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Measures of Gender Schematization: Are Pictures as Good as Toys?. Karen Singer-Freeman & Darcilynn Nelsen [email protected] Preference Check Children were shown each picture individually

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Measures of Gender Schematization: Are Pictures as Good as Toys?

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Measures of gender schematization are pictures as good as toys

Measures of Gender Schematization:

Are Pictures as Good as Toys?

Karen Singer-Freeman & DarcilynnNelsen

[email protected]

Preference Check

  • Children were shown each picture individually

  • Asked to indicate, “How much you would like to play with this toy” using a 5-point visual scale

  • Real Toy Selection Task

  • Children were shown a tray with 6 real toys

    • 3 Male stereotypical (2 new, 1 broken)

    • 3 Female stereotypical (2 new, 1 broken)

  • Asked to select “The toy you want to play with most”

  • Children chose up to 4 toys

  • Latency of first choice was recorded and a qualitative score was assigned

    • RESULTS

  • Preferences

    • 4-year-olds preferred pictures of gender-consistent and neutral toys to pictures of gender inconsistent toys

    • 3-year-olds responded similarly to all types of pictures

  • ABSTRACT

    Thirty preschoolers completed real and hypothetical measures of gender schematization. We measured reaction times in both tasks and used a qualitative schematization measure for the real task. We found that children responded more slowly when making hypothetical choices between two gender-consistent toys than between one gender-consistent toy and one gender-inconsistent toy. Age in months and gender-consistent toy preferences were positively correlated with the qualitative score. Reaction time in the hypothetical toy selection task was correlated with latency of first response in the real task but was unrelated to qualitative scores. We conclude that latency measures in both real and hypothetical tasks are accessing similar aspects of schematization.

    INTRODUCTION

    Previous research has relied upon hypothetical choice tasks as a means of measuring gender schematization (Carter & Levy, 1988). Although easy to administer, it is possible that a hypothetical toy selection task might be influenced by societal gender expectations. We investigated whether hypothetical tasks are equivalent to real choice measures of schematization.

    • Hypothetical Toy Selection Task

    • All children responded more slowly to choices between two gender-consistent items than between other choices

      • Girls responded more slowly than boys to these contrasts

      • Boys also responded slowly to choices between two inconsistent items

    • Real Toy Selection Task

    • Most children responded to this task in a schematized fashion

    • Older children responded more stereotypically than younger children.

    • Relationship Between Tasks

    • Latency on the hypothetical choice between consistent and inconsistent items was correlated with latency of first response to the real task (r(30) = .49, p < . 01)

    • The qualitative score was not related to either latency measure.

    • Age in months (r(30) = .40, p < . 01) and gender-consistent toy preferences (r(30) = .37, p < . 05) were positively correlated with the qualitative score

    • DISCUSSION

    • Latency measures in real and hypothetical tasks are tapping similar aspects of schematization

    • Although our qualitative score does seem to capture a difference between individual children, it remains to be seen whether it is a reliable measure of schematization

    • METHOD

      Participants

    • 14 3-year-olds (5 girls) and 16 4-year-olds (6 girls)

    • Children completed 2 measures of schematization

    • Hypothetical Toy Selection Task

    • Children shown pictures of toys that were gender-consistent, gender-inconsistent, and neutral

      • Asked to select, “the one you would liked to play with”

      • Reaction time was recorded

    • For example, for a girl:

      • Consistent-Inconsistent

      • Consistent-Neutral

      • Consistent-Consistent

      • Inconsistent-Inconsistent


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