Sex role discrimination, preference, and confirmation in preschool aged children Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6w924g233

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  • The purpose of this study was the development of the Sex Role Learning Index (SERLI), a picture choice instrument for assessing the concepts of sex role discrimination, preference, and confirmation in young children. The SERLI consists of 60 black-and-white line drawings depicting common objects, child activities and adult activities and roles. In administering the SERLI, the child is first asked to sort the object items, which are representative of the activities and roles used later, into boxes labelled "for boys", or "for girls". The sex role discrimination score is the degree to which these designations agree with cultural sex role stereotypes. The child is then shown sets of items depicting either child or adult figures of his or her own sex, involved in a variety of sex-appropriate and cross-sex activities. The order of the child's choices is used to rank the items from most to least preferred. The scoring of sex role preference and confirmation is based on the degree to which the order of the child's choices of sex-appropriate items deviates from what would be expected from purely random choosing. The scoring of sex role preference is based on the order of the child's choices of the items culturally defined as being sex-appropriate, while sex role confirmation is scored relative to the child's own designations of which items were sex-appropriate. To test the validity and reliability of the SERLI, the test was administered to 56 preschool aged children, aged 36 to 64 months. All of the children were average or above in intelligence, and were from the middle and upper socioeconomic classes. Reliabilities were determined by retesting a subsample of 36 children, three weeks after the initial testing. Split-plot analyses of variance and regression analyses were used to test specific hypotheses regarding the effects of the sex of the experimenter, and the sex and age of the child, as well as to compare SERLI sections and concepts. Product-moment correlation coefficients were used to estimate test-retest reliabilities. The results showed that boys and girls increased in their awareness of sex roles with age, and were more aware of their own rather than their opposite sex role. In addition, younger boys appeared to be more aware of their own sex role than younger girls, while girls appeared to be more aware of their opposite sex role than boys. For sex role preference and confirmation, boys scored higher in the Child Figures section than in the Adult Figures section, while girls showed an opposite pattern. Boys also scored significantly higher than girls on the Child Figures sections for both of these scales. In the Adult Figures section, however, girls scored higher than boys on confirmation, but not on preference. The test-retest reliabilities for all of the SERLI scales were significant, and were in the range expected for preschool aged children. These results were related to previous research on sex role learning, and were discussed from a variety of theoretical frameworks. Overall, this study supported the adequacy of the SERLI as a measure of early sex role learning, and suggested that the SERLI may have several advantages over previous measures.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Deborah Campbell(deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-11-07T16:13:10Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 EdelbrockCraig1976.pdf: 1018759 bytes, checksum: e5dccde8e453b66e756ad88244da792d (MD5)
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