Sex Roles

, Volume 10, Issue 9–10, pp 703–712 | Cite as

A developmental study of destereotyping and androgynous activity preferences of tomboys, nontomboys, and males

  • Pat Plumb
  • Gloria Cowan
Article

Abstract

A study of 210 fourth, sixth, eighth, and tenth graders and adults was conducted to determine developmental trends in both destereotyping of traditionally gender-typed activities and preferences for those activities, and to compare activity preferences of tomboys with other females and with males at different ages. Tenth graders destereotyped less than the other age levels. Additionally, female subjects destereotyped traditionally boys' activities more than girls' activities and more than male subjects. Although nontomboys and boys showed a preference for gender-traditional activities, tomboys preferred traditional girls' and boys' activities equally. Self-defined tomboys do not reject traditionally female activities; instead, they expand their repertoire of activities to include both gender-traditional and nontraditional activities. It is suggested that girls who are able to transcend gender-role behavior in childhood may be the ones who will grow into androgynous adult women.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bem, S. L. The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1974, 42, 155–162.Google Scholar
  2. Bem, S. L., & Lewis, S. A. Sex-role adaptability: One consequence of psychological androgyny. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 31, 634–643.Google Scholar
  3. Bem, S. L., Martyna, W., & Watson, C. Sex-typing and androgyny: Further explorations of the expressive domain. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1976, 34, 1016–1023.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, D. G. Sex-role preference in young children. Psychology Monographs, 1956, 70 (Whole No. 14).Google Scholar
  5. Constantinople, A. Masculinity-femininity: An exception to a famous dictim? In A. G. Bean & J. P. Kaplan (Eds.), Beyond sex-role stereo-types: Readings toward a psychology of androgyny. Boston: Little, Brown, 1976.Google Scholar
  6. DeLucia, L. A. The Toy Preference Test: A measure of sex-role identification. Child Development, 1963, 34, 107–117.Google Scholar
  7. Erikson, E. E. Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton, 1968.Google Scholar
  8. Fagot, B. I., & Littman, E. Stability of sex role and play interests from preschool to elementary school. Journal of Psychology, 1975, 89, 285–292.Google Scholar
  9. Fagot, B. I., & Patterson, G. R. An in vivo analysis of reinforcing contingencies for sex-role behavior in the preschool child. Developmental Psychology, 1969, 1, 563–568.Google Scholar
  10. Flerx, V. C., Fidler, D. S. & Rogers, R. W. Sex role stereotypes: Developmental aspects and early intervention. Child Development, 1976, 47, 998–1007.Google Scholar
  11. Hartley, R. E., & Hardesty, F. P. Children's perceptions of sex roles in childhood. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 1964, 105, 43–51.Google Scholar
  12. Haugh, S. S., Hoffman, C. D., & Cowan, G. The eye of the very young beholder: Sex-typing of infants by young children. Child Development, 1980, 51, 598–600.Google Scholar
  13. Hemmer, J. D., & Kleiber, D. A. Tomboys and sissies: Androgynous children? Sex Roles, 1981, 7, 1205–1212.Google Scholar
  14. Hyde, J. S., Rosenberg, B. G., & Behrman, J. T., Tomboyism. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 1977, 2, 73–75.Google Scholar
  15. Kohlberg, L., & Zigler, E. The impact of cognitive maturity on sex-role attitudes in the years four to eight. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 1967, 75, 89–165.Google Scholar
  16. Kuhn, D., Nash, S. C., & Brucken, L. Sex role concepts of two- and three-year-olds. Child Development, 1978, 49, 445–451.Google Scholar
  17. Maccoby, E. E., & Jacklin, C. N. The psychology of sex differences. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  18. Masters, J. C., & Wilkinson, A. Consensual and discriminative stereotyping of sex-type judgments by parents and children. Child Development, 1947, 47, 208–217.Google Scholar
  19. Money, J., & Ehrhardt, A. A. Man and woman; boy and girl. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972.Google Scholar
  20. Orlofsky, J. L., & Windle, M. T. Sex-role orientation, behavioral adaptability, and personal adjustment. Sex Roles, 1978, 4, 801–812.Google Scholar
  21. Rebecca, M., Hefner, R., & Oleshansky, B. A model of sex-role transcendence. In A. G. Bean & J. P. Kaplan (Eds.), Beyond sex-role stereotypes: Readings toward a psychology of androgyny. Boston: Little, Brown, 1976.Google Scholar
  22. Rosenberg, B. G., & Sutton-Smith, B. A revised conception of masculine-feminine differences in play activities. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 1960, 96, 165–170.Google Scholar
  23. Ryan, S. M., & Castleman, J. Children's knowledge and use of sex stereotypic terms. San Francisco, August 1977. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, 1977.Google Scholar
  24. Saghir, M. T., & Robins, E. Male and female homosexuality: A comprehensive investigation. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1973.Google Scholar
  25. Serbin, L. A., Connor, J. M., Burchardt, C. J., & Citron, C. C. Effects of peer presence on sex-typing of children's play behavior. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1979, 27, 303–309.Google Scholar
  26. Shepard, W. O., & Hess, D. T. Attitudes in four age groups toward sex role division in adult occupations and activities. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 1975, 6, 27–39.Google Scholar
  27. Sisson, L. H. Sex-role interests and social competence in young children (Doctoral dissertation, UCLA, 1975). Dissertation Abstracts International, 1974, 34, 4006.Google Scholar
  28. Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. Masculinity and femininity: Their psychological dimensions, correlates and antecedents. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  29. Stein, A. H., & Smithells, J. Age and sex differences in children's sex-role standards about achievement. Developmental Psychology, 1969, 1, 252–259.Google Scholar
  30. Urberg, K. A. Sex-role conceptualizations in adolescents and adults. Developmental Psychology, 1979, 15, 90–92.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pat Plumb
    • 1
  • Gloria Cowan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCalifornia State CollegeSan Bernardino

Personalised recommendations