Sex Roles

, 61:361

Teaching Children to Confront Peers’ Sexist Remarks: Implications for Theories of Gender Development and Educational Practice


  • Lindsay M. Lamb
    • Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of Texas at Austin
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Texas at Austin
  • Lynn S. Liben
    • Department of PsychologyThe Pennsylvania State University
  • Vanessa A. Green
    • School of Educational Psychology and PedagogyVictoria University of Wellington
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-009-9634-4

Cite this article as:
Lamb, L.M., Bigler, R.S., Liben, L.S. et al. Sex Roles (2009) 61: 361. doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9634-4


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.


Gender stereotypingPeersBullyingIntervention

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009