The Animal = Male Hypothesis: Children's and Adults' Beliefs About the Sex of Non–Sex-Specific Stuffed Animals
- Cite this article as:
- Lambdin, J.R., Greer, K.M., Jibotian, K.S. et al. Sex Roles (2003) 48: 471. doi:10.1023/A:1023567010708
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The Animal = Male Hypothesis, a variation of Silveira's People = Male Hypothesis (Silveira, 1980), was examined. In Study 1, children ages 3–10 years and adults told stories about a gender-neutral stuffed animal, in Study 2 children ages 5–6 years told stories about 3 neutral and 3 feminine animals, and in Study 3 children ages 5–7 years told stories about 2 neutral animals, observed an adult model use feminine pronouns to refer to an animal, then told stories about 2 more animals. Dependent variables were the pronouns participants used to refer to the animals and what sex they believed the animals were. Results showed strong evidence for an animal = male bias in all 3 studies among children and adults of both sexes on both dependent measures. There were few sex-related differences. The modeling intervention was not successful in reducing the bias.