, Volume 35, Issue 11-12, pp 659-691

Children's gender-related self-perceptions, activity preferences, and occupational stereotypes: A test of three models of gender constructs

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Fourth through sixth grade boys (n= 197) and girls (n= 271) were given a simplified form of the Personal Attributes Questionnaire [J. T. Spence and R. L. Helmreich (1978b) The Intermediate Personal Attributes Questionnaire: A Simplified Version for Children and Adults, unpublished manuscript, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin], assessing desirable instrumental and expressive traits; subsets of items from J. P. Boldizar's [(1991) “Assessing Sex Typing and Androgyny in Children: The Children's Sex Role Inventory,” Developmental Psychology,Vol. 27, pp. 505–513] children's version of the Bem Sex Role Inventory [S. L. Bem (1974) “The Measurement of Psychological Androgyny,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 42, 155–162]; S. L. Harter's [(1985) Manual for the Self-Perception Profile for Children, Denver: University of Denver] measures of self-esteem; and measures of masculine and feminine activity preferences and prescriptive occupational stereotypes. The children were predominantly white and from middle-class backgrounds. The correlations among the gender-related measures were more congruent with a multifactorial approach to gender than the unifactorial gender schema model or the two-factor model of masculinity and femininity. Instrumentality, however, was correlated with self-esteem in both genders, a finding most reasonably interpreted in terms of this personality variable per se.

Thanks are due to Norma Fuqua, Karen Deshotel, Lanelle Hanagriff, Krystina Fullbright, Delia Conrad, Brenda Hayes, Sandra Hodges, and Rebecca McCauley for their invaluable assistance in conducting the testing sessions. We are also grateful to the staff and to the student participants in the Santa Fe, Texas, School District for their cooperation.