, 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

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Abstract

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L. Helmreich (1978b) The Intermediate Personal Attributes Questionnaire: A Simplified Version for Children and Adults, unpublished manuscript, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin], assessing desirable instrumental and expressive traits; subsets of items from J. P.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.