Date of Award:

1972

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Carroll Lambert

Abstract

The objective of this study was to aid in discovering whether or not the sex differences in language development are at least partially a result of the differential effect of the environment on the two sexes by determining whether the sex orientation of stimulus objects presented to preschool children would influence the quantity and quality of verbal responses emitted by the children. Twenty preschool children, 10 boys and 10 girls, were each presented with neutral, masculine oriented, and feminine oriented stimulus objects and were asked to respond to them in the form of a story. Quantity of verbal responses was measured by the number of words and number of expression units produced by the subjects in response to the stimulus objects. Quality of language was measured by the mean length of expression units produced in response to the stimulus objects. No significant sex differences were found in the quantity or quality of verbal responses to stimulus objects in the three stimulus categories. There was a significant difference in the quantity of language produced by the total group of subjects in response to stimulus objects in the three stimulus categories, the quantity of language produced in response to the masculine oriented stimulus objects being greater than that produced in response to neutral or feminine oriented stimulus objects. The quality of language produced by the total group of subjects in response to stimulus objects in the three stimulus categories showed no significant differences.

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