Sex Roles

, Volume 36, Issue 7–8, pp 517–529 | Cite as

An exploratory study of early childhood teachers’ attitudes toward gender roles

  • Betsy Cahill
  • Eve Adams

Abstract

This study explored the relationship between early childhood teachers’ adult gender role beliefs and their attitudes about children’s gender role behavior. The teachers, most of whom were women, expressed nontraditional beliefs regarding gender roles for adults. This feminist orientation appeared to be related to perceptions about child rearing in that teachers who espoused nontraditional gender role beliefs for adults also did for children. In addition, it was found that teachers were more accepting of cross-gender role behaviors and aspirations from girls than boys, and that this difference was related to homophobia. There were strong relationships found between child rearing gender role beliefs and attitudes toward gay men and lesbians.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adams, E. M. (1988).Sex of the victim, offender, and helper: The effects of gender differences on attributions and attitudes in cases of incest. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University, Columbus.Google Scholar
  2. Arndt, W. B. (1991).Gender disorders and the paraphilia. Madison, CT: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bandura, A. (1969). Social learning theory and identification processes. In D. L. Hamilition (Ed.),Handbook of socialization theory and research. Chicago: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  4. Beere, C. A. (1979).Women and women’s issues: A handbook or tests and measures. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  5. Bell, A. P., Weinberg, M. S., & Hammersmith, S. K. (1981).Sexual preference: Its development in men and women. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bem, S. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155–162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bem, S. (1983). Gender schema theory and its implications for child development: Raising gender-aschematic children in a gender-schematic society.Signs, 8, 598–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Benz, C. R., Pfeiffer, I., & Newman, I. (1981). Sex role expectations of classroom teachers, grades 12.American Educational Research Journal, 18, 289–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Best, R. (1983).We’ve all got scars: What little boys and little girls learn in elementary school. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Biber, H., Miller, L., & Dyer, J. (1972). Feminization in preschool.Developmental Psychology, 7, 86.Google Scholar
  10. Bledsoe, J. C. (1983). Sex differences in female teachers’ approval and disapproval behaviors as related to their self-definition of sex-role type.Psychological Reports, 52, 711–714.Google Scholar
  11. Burge, P. L. (1981). Parental childrearing sex-role attitudes related to social issue sex-role attitudes and selected demographic variables.Home Economics Research Journal, 9, 193–199.Google Scholar
  12. Cherry, L. (1975). Preschool teacher-child dyad: Sex differences in verbal interaction.Child Development, 46, 532–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chodorow, N. (1978).The reproduction of mothering: Psychoanalysis and the sociology of gender. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  14. Delamont, S. (1990).Sex roles and the school. London: Routeledge Press.Google Scholar
  15. Eagly, A. H. (1987).Sex differences in social behavior: A social role interpretation. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  16. Fagot, B. I. (1974). Sex differences in toddlers’ behavior and parental reaction.Developmental Psychology, 10, 554–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fagot, B. I. (1977). Consequences of moderate cross-gender behavior in preschool children.Child Development, 48, 902–907.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fagot, B. I. (1984). Teacher and peer reactions to boys’ and girls’ play style.Sex Roles, 11, 691–702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fagot, B. I., & Hagan, R. (1985). Aggression in toddlers: Responses to the assertive acts of boys and girls.Sex Roles, 12, 341–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fagot, B. I. & Littman, I. (1975). Stability of sex role and play interest, from preschool to elementary school.Journal of Psychology, 89, 285–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Freud, S. (1940).An outline of psychoanalysis. New York: Norton Press.Google Scholar
  22. Green, R. (1974).Sexual identity conflict in children and adults. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  23. Herek, G. M. (1988). Heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men: Correlates and gender differences.Journal of Sex Research, 25, 451–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Honig, A. & Wittmer, D. S. (1982). Teachers and low-income toddlers in metropolitan day care.Early Child Development and Care, 10, 95–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Honig, A. (1983). Sex role socialization in early childhood.Young Children, 44(4), 61–75.Google Scholar
  26. Kalin, R., & Tilby, P. J. (1978). Development and validation of sex-role ideology scale.Psychological Reports, 42, 731–738.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Kessler, S. J., & McKenna, W. (1978). Gender: An ethnomethodological approach. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  28. Kohlberg, L. (1966). A cognitive-developmental analysis of children’s sex-role concepts and attitudes. In E. E. Maccoby,The development of sex differences. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Lewis, M. (1987). Early sex role behavior and school age adjustment. In J. M. Reinisch, L. A. Rosenblum, & S. A. Sanders (Eds.),Masculinity/femininity: Basic perspectives. New York, NY: Oxford University.Google Scholar
  30. Lloyd, B., & Duveen, G. (1992).Gender identities and education. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf/St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  31. Martin, C. L. (1990). Attitudes and expectations about children with nontraditional and traditional gender roles.Sex Roles, 22, 151–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. National Association for the Education of Young Children. (1991).National Child Care Survey (NAEYC #136). Washington, DC: NAEYC.Google Scholar
  33. Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children. (1993).The full cost of quality—A search for answers. Columbus, Ohio.Google Scholar
  34. Osmond, M. W., & Martin, P. Y. (1975). Sex and sexism: A comparison of male and female sex role attitudes.Journal of Marriage and the Family, 37, 744–758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pharr, S. (1988).Homophobia: A weapon of sexism. Little Rock, AR: Chardon Press.Google Scholar
  36. Pogrebin, L. C. (1980).Growing-up free: Raising your child in the 80’s. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  37. Ruble, T. L. (1987). Sex stereotypes: Issues of change in the 1970’s.Sex Roles, 9, 397–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sadker, M., & Sadker, D. (1994).Failing at fairness: How America’s schools cheat girls. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  39. Serbin, L. A. (1978). Teachers, peers, and play preferences: An environmental approach to sex typing in the preschool. In B. Sprung (Ed.),Perspectives of non-sexist early childhood education. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  40. Serbin, L. A., & O’Leary, D. K., Kent, R. N., & Tonick, I. J. (1973). A comparison of teacher response to the preacademic and problem behavior of boys and girls.Child Development, 44, 796–804.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. (1978).Masculinity and femininity: Their psychological dimensions, correlates, and antecedents. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Betsy Cahill
    • 1
  • Eve Adams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and InstructionNew Mexico State UniversityLas Cruces

Personalised recommendations