Sex Roles

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 85–97

Beliefs about male and female competence held by kindergartners and second graders

  • Bette Whitelock Tryon

DOI: 10.1007/BF00288364

Cite this article as:
Tryon, B.W. Sex Roles (1980) 6: 85. doi:10.1007/BF00288364


The study investigated the beliefs of kindergarten and second-grade children of both sexes about the competence of boys versus girls. The children appeared to have clearly defined beliefs about who would use certain objects, and their beliefs coincide with stereotypic sex-role behaviors in society at large. There was no support for the development of a more generalized expectation of competence in males. There was no significant sex difference in response; there was, however, a grade difference. Second graders' views of competence were more closely aligned with sex-appropriateness ratings than were the kindergartners.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bette Whitelock Tryon
    • 1
  1. 1.Child DevelopmentCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis Obispo

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