The Acquisition of Gender Labels in Infancy

Implications for Gender-Typed Play

Kristina M. Zosuls, Diane N. Ruble, Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, Patrick E. Shrout, Marc H. Bornstein, Faith K. Greulich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Two aspects of children's early gender development-the spontaneous production of gender labels and gender-typed play-were examined longitudinally in a sample of 82 children. Survival analysis, a statistical technique well suited to questions involving developmental transitions, was used to investigate the timing of the onset of children's gender labeling as based on mothers' biweekly telephone interviews regarding their children's language from 9 through 21 months. Videotapes of children's play both alone and with mother during home visits at 17 and 21 months were independently analyzed for play with gender-stereotyped and gender-neutral toys. Finally, the relation between gender labeling and gender-typed play was examined. Children transitioned to using gender labels at approximately 19 months, on average. Although girls and boys showed similar patterns in the development of gender labeling, girls began labeling significantly earlier than boys. Modest sex differences in play were present at 17 months and increased at 21 months. Gender labeling predicted increases in gender-typed play, suggesting that knowledge of gender categories might influence gender typing before the age of 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-701
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009

Fingerprint

gender
Mothers
Child Language
Play and Playthings
House Calls
Videotape Recording
Interpersonal Relations
Survival Analysis
Sex Characteristics
Interviews
toy
telephone interview
gender relations
language

Keywords

  • gender development
  • language development
  • play
  • self-socialization
  • sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Demography

Cite this

The Acquisition of Gender Labels in Infancy : Implications for Gender-Typed Play. / Zosuls, Kristina M.; Ruble, Diane N.; Tamis-LeMonda, Catherine S.; Shrout, Patrick E.; Bornstein, Marc H.; Greulich, Faith K.

In: Developmental Psychology, Vol. 45, No. 3, 05.2009, p. 688-701.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zosuls, Kristina M. ; Ruble, Diane N. ; Tamis-LeMonda, Catherine S. ; Shrout, Patrick E. ; Bornstein, Marc H. ; Greulich, Faith K. / The Acquisition of Gender Labels in Infancy : Implications for Gender-Typed Play. In: Developmental Psychology. 2009 ; Vol. 45, No. 3. pp. 688-701.
@article{e983d9fff8f140689e12df611308c679,
title = "The Acquisition of Gender Labels in Infancy: Implications for Gender-Typed Play",
abstract = "Two aspects of children's early gender development-the spontaneous production of gender labels and gender-typed play-were examined longitudinally in a sample of 82 children. Survival analysis, a statistical technique well suited to questions involving developmental transitions, was used to investigate the timing of the onset of children's gender labeling as based on mothers' biweekly telephone interviews regarding their children's language from 9 through 21 months. Videotapes of children's play both alone and with mother during home visits at 17 and 21 months were independently analyzed for play with gender-stereotyped and gender-neutral toys. Finally, the relation between gender labeling and gender-typed play was examined. Children transitioned to using gender labels at approximately 19 months, on average. Although girls and boys showed similar patterns in the development of gender labeling, girls began labeling significantly earlier than boys. Modest sex differences in play were present at 17 months and increased at 21 months. Gender labeling predicted increases in gender-typed play, suggesting that knowledge of gender categories might influence gender typing before the age of 2.",
keywords = "gender development, language development, play, self-socialization, sex differences",
author = "Zosuls, {Kristina M.} and Ruble, {Diane N.} and Tamis-LeMonda, {Catherine S.} and Shrout, {Patrick E.} and Bornstein, {Marc H.} and Greulich, {Faith K.}",
year = "2009",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1037/a0014053",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "45",
pages = "688--701",
journal = "Developmental Psychology",
issn = "0012-1649",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Acquisition of Gender Labels in Infancy

T2 - Implications for Gender-Typed Play

AU - Zosuls, Kristina M.

AU - Ruble, Diane N.

AU - Tamis-LeMonda, Catherine S.

AU - Shrout, Patrick E.

AU - Bornstein, Marc H.

AU - Greulich, Faith K.

PY - 2009/5

Y1 - 2009/5

N2 - Two aspects of children's early gender development-the spontaneous production of gender labels and gender-typed play-were examined longitudinally in a sample of 82 children. Survival analysis, a statistical technique well suited to questions involving developmental transitions, was used to investigate the timing of the onset of children's gender labeling as based on mothers' biweekly telephone interviews regarding their children's language from 9 through 21 months. Videotapes of children's play both alone and with mother during home visits at 17 and 21 months were independently analyzed for play with gender-stereotyped and gender-neutral toys. Finally, the relation between gender labeling and gender-typed play was examined. Children transitioned to using gender labels at approximately 19 months, on average. Although girls and boys showed similar patterns in the development of gender labeling, girls began labeling significantly earlier than boys. Modest sex differences in play were present at 17 months and increased at 21 months. Gender labeling predicted increases in gender-typed play, suggesting that knowledge of gender categories might influence gender typing before the age of 2.

AB - Two aspects of children's early gender development-the spontaneous production of gender labels and gender-typed play-were examined longitudinally in a sample of 82 children. Survival analysis, a statistical technique well suited to questions involving developmental transitions, was used to investigate the timing of the onset of children's gender labeling as based on mothers' biweekly telephone interviews regarding their children's language from 9 through 21 months. Videotapes of children's play both alone and with mother during home visits at 17 and 21 months were independently analyzed for play with gender-stereotyped and gender-neutral toys. Finally, the relation between gender labeling and gender-typed play was examined. Children transitioned to using gender labels at approximately 19 months, on average. Although girls and boys showed similar patterns in the development of gender labeling, girls began labeling significantly earlier than boys. Modest sex differences in play were present at 17 months and increased at 21 months. Gender labeling predicted increases in gender-typed play, suggesting that knowledge of gender categories might influence gender typing before the age of 2.

KW - gender development

KW - language development

KW - play

KW - self-socialization

KW - sex differences

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=65649139627&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=65649139627&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0014053

DO - 10.1037/a0014053

M3 - Article

VL - 45

SP - 688

EP - 701

JO - Developmental Psychology

JF - Developmental Psychology

SN - 0012-1649

IS - 3

ER -