Sex Roles

, Volume 36, Issue 7–8, pp 517–529

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

  • Betsy Cahill
  • Eve Adams

DOI: 10.1007/BF02766688

Cite this article as:
Cahill, B. & Adams, E. Sex Roles (1997) 36: 517. doi:10.1007/BF02766688


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.

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

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