Teaching Children to Confront Peers’ Sexist Remarks: Implications for Theories of Gender Development and Educational Practice
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- Lamb, L.M., Bigler, R.S., Liben, L.S. et al. Sex Roles (2009) 61: 361. doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9634-4
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Elementary-school children (81 boys, 72 girls, aged 5–10 years) in the Southwest United States were taught to challenge peers’ sexist remarks to (a) improve school climate for gender nontraditional children, (b) decrease children’s gender-typed attitudes, and (c) test hypotheses linking gender identity and peer-directed gender role behaviors. Children either practiced using retorts to peers’ sexist remarks (practice condition) or heard stories about others’ retorts (narrative condition). At pretest, children rarely challenged peers’ sexist remarks. At posttest, children’s challenges were significantly more common in the practice than narrative condition. At the 6-month posttest, data showed intervention effects had become more widespread. Behavioral changes led to decreases in gender-typing of others among girls but not boys.