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


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.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

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

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