Kohlberg research

2 small studies and 1 big study.

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  • Kohlberg's theory of gender constancy research
      • AIM: To see whether children with higher levels of gender constancy show more attention to same-sex models
        • 55 children ages between 2 to 5 years old.
        • The children had their level of gender constancy assessed by a series of 14 questions and counter-questions
          • Some questions tested gender labelling E.G "are you a boy or a girl?"
          • Some questions tested gender stability E.G "When you grow up, will you be a mummy or daddy?"
          • Some questions tested gender constancy E.G "If you wore [opposite sex's clothes] would you be a boy or a girl?"
        • Children were classified as low on gender constancy if they answered wrongly on gender labeling or gender stability items. High otherwise.
      • CONCLUSION: Children with higher levels of gender constancy show more selective attention to the same-sex models than those with low levels of gender constancy
        • Results indicate the influence of both cognitive and social factors in gender development
        • Results indicate that children at this stage watch their own gender in order to acquire info about gender-appropriate behaviour which backs up Kohlberg's notion that gender development is an active process.
      • FINDINGS: High gender-constancy boys watched the male model more than the female model, but this was less so for the low-gender constancy boys.
    • McConagly
      • Found that if a doll was dressed in transparent clothing, so its genitals were visible, children of 3 to 5 years judged its gender by its clothes - as opposed to judging it by its genitals.
        • Supports the idea that children of this age are using superficial physical indicators in order to determine gender.
    • Frey and Ruble
      • Informed children that certain toys were either 'boy' or 'girl' toys. Boys who have achieved gender constancy chose 'boy' toys, even when they were uninteresting


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