The role of gender constancy in early gender development

Diane N. Ruble, Lisa J. Taylor, Lisa Cyphers, Faith K. Greulich, Leah E. Lurye, Patrick E. Shrout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


b18Kohlberg's (1966) hypothesis that the attainment of gender constancy motivates children to attend to gender norms was reevaluated by examining these links in relation to age. Ninety-four 3- to 7-year-old children were interviewed to assess whether and how constancy mediates age-related changes in gender-related beliefs. As expected, results indicated a general pattern of an increase in stereotype knowledge, the importance and positive evaluation of one's own gender category, and rigidity of beliefs between the ages of 3 and 5. Moreover, the stability phase, rather than full constancy, mediated some of these relations. After age 5, rigidity generally decreased with age, with relations primarily mediated by consistency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1121-1136
Number of pages16
JournalChild development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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