Sex Roles

, Volume 64, Issue 11–12, pp 826–842 | Cite as

Gender Development Research in Sex Roles: Historical Trends and Future Directions

  • Kristina M. ZosulsEmail author
  • Cindy Faith Miller
  • Diane N. Ruble
  • Carol Lynn Martin
  • Richard A. Fabes
Anniversary Paper


The late 1960s through the 1970s marked an important turning point in the field of gender research, including theory and research in gender development. The establishment of Sex Roles in 1975 as a forum for this research represented an important milestone in the field. In this article, we celebrate the 35th anniversary of Sex Roles and, in particular, its contributions to the field of research on children’s and adolescents’ gender development. We examine the trends in research on gender development published in Sex Roles since its inception and use this analysis as a vehicle for exploring how the field has grown and evolved over the past few decades. We begin with a brief review of the history of this field of research since 1975. Then, we present a descriptive assessment of articles published on gender development in Sex Roles over time, and link this assessment to general trends that have occurred in the study of gender development over the past 35 years. We conclude with a discussion of future directions for the field of gender development. In particular, we highlight areas in which the journal could play a role in promoting more diversity in topics, methods, and ages employed in gender development research.


Gender development Children History Review 



The paper was supported in part by a research grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD045816-01) awarded to the Carol Lynn Martin and Richard A. Fabes; a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development research grant (R01 HD04994) to Diane N. Ruble; and a National Science Foundation IRADS grant (0721383) Funds from the T. Denny Sanford Foundation also supported work on this paper. Funding also was provided by the School of Social Dynamics and the Challenged Child Project at Arizona State University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristina M. Zosuls
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Cindy Faith Miller
    • 1
  • Diane N. Ruble
    • 2
  • Carol Lynn Martin
    • 1
  • Richard A. Fabes
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social and Family Dynamics, Program in Family and Human DevelopmentArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.School of Social and Family DynamicsArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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