A key prediction of cognitive theories of gender development concerns developmental trajectories in the relative strength or rigidity of gender typing. To examine these trajectories in early childhood, 229 children (African American, Mexican American, and Dominican American) were followed annually from age 3 to 5 years, and gender-stereotypical appearance, dress-up play, toy play, and sex segregation were examined. High gender-typing was found across ethnic groups, and most behaviors increased in rigidity, especially from age 3 to 4 years. In addressing controversy surrounding the stability and structure of gender-typing it was found that from year to year, most behaviors showed moderately stable individual differences. Behaviors were uncorrelated within age but showed more concordance in change across time, suggesting that aspects of gender-typing are multidimensional, but still show coherence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology