Sex Roles

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 471–481 | Cite as

Adults' perceptions of infant sex and cuteness

  • Katherine A. Hildebrandt
  • Hiram E. Fitzgerald


Five experiments were conducted to investigate the relationship between infant sex and adults' perceptions of infant physical attractiveness. College students rated the cuteness and/or sex of male and female infants at each of six age levels: 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 months. The results indicated that (a) subjects had little difficulty assigning a sex label to infants, although in some instances the assigned label was incorrect; (b) older infants received higher cuteness ratings than younger infants; (c) cuter infants were more likely to be perceived as female than male; (d) Labeled Males received higher cuteness ratings than Labeled Females, although this effect was stronger for Perceived Males than for Perceived Females; and (e) perceived cuteness influenced perceived sex. Results are interpreted as generally supporting the existence of a sex stereotype related to physical attractiveness.


College Student Social Psychology Young Infant Cute Physical Attractiveness 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine A. Hildebrandt
    • 1
  • Hiram E. Fitzgerald
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast Lansing

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