Three studies examined the emergence of attention to gender categories, which may be a mediating step between gender category recognition and gender stereotype formation. Experiment 1 examined 18-month-olds’ attention to gender categories using a sequential touching task. Results suggested that 18-month-olds showed little attention to gender. Experiment 2 was conducted to rule out the possibility that infants could not discriminate the dolls by gender. Experiment 3 investigated developmental changes in attention to gender categories from 18 to 30 months of age. A sharp increase in attention to gender was found between 18 and 22 months. The distinction between recognition of and attention to gender categories and the implications of these findings for understanding stereotype formation are discussed.
Johnston, Kristen E.; Bittinger, Kathleen; Smith, Amy; and Madole, Kelly L.
"Developmental Changes in Infants' and Toddlers Attention to Gender Categories,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 47
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol47/iss4/7