Children's gender orientation and perceptions of female, male, and gender-ambiguous animal characters

Rachel Karniol, Shiri Reichman, Liat Fund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to examine the effect of preadolescent children's gender orientation on their social perception of animal characters whose gender was clearly female, clearly male, or gender-ambiguous. Nine-to 12-year-old middle-class Israeli children who had completed a Hebrew version of Boldizar's scale for gender orientation in children assigned gender to the animal characters and indicated their degree of liking for them. Children's gender orientation did not influence their perceptions of the gender of animal characters that are clearly female and clearly male, but did impact on their perceptions of the gender of ambiguous animal characters. Second, children's liking for animal characters of different apparent gender interacted with gender orientation such that children with an androgynous gender orientation did not evidence differential liking of animal characters on the basis of their apparent gender. Children's liking of the animal characters was only partly mediated by their perceptions of the gender of these animal characters. Finally, gender orientation interacted with gender in determining degree of liking for the animal characters. The findings are discussed in terms of the impact of gender stereotyping in social perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-393
Number of pages17
JournalSex Roles
Volume43
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2000

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