Date of Award:

5-1991

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Human Development and Family Studies

Committee Chair(s)

Shelley L. K. Lindauer

Committee

Shelley L. K. Lindauer

Committee

Frank Ascione

Committee

Jay D. Schvaneveldt

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate gender distinctions made by children based on clothing styles in order to better understand gender-role development. Four objectives were addressed: (a) Do children, regardless of sex, differ in their determination of the gender appropriateness of clothing options? (b) Are there gender differences between children in determining the gender appropriateness of these clothing options? (c) In what ways does children's awareness of gender stereotypes relate to their determination of the gender appropriateness of clothing? and (d) How do children's sex and their determination of the gender appropriateness of clothing interact with their awareness of gender stereotypes?

Chi-square and ANOVA statistical techniques were used to analyze children's responses on the Gender Apparel Test and the Sex Role Learning Index and to analyze the interaction of sex of subject and GAT responses with respect to children's SERLI scores. Significant differences emerged in the children's determination of the gender appropriateness of Shirts and Pants. The results also indicated that males and females differed when determining the gender appropriateness of Footwear for girls.

Findings also revealed that two SERLI scores, the Opposite Sex-Role Discrimination and the Adult Sex-Role Preference, had no relevance for children's determination of the gender appropriateness of clothing. The results, however, indicated that the Own Sex-Role Discrimination and the Child Sex-Role Preference scores showed a significant effect when children determined appropriateness of Footwear for girls. The implications of current findings for parents, educators, and researchers are discussed.

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