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The effects of sex-Typed labeling on preschool children's information-Seeking and retention


When preschool children are exposed to novel objects, will their tactual and verbal information seeking about these objects and the amount of information they remember about these objects be influenced by whether an adult labels them as things “for girls” or “for boys”? The findings reveal that children actually explored less frequently, asked fewer questions, and recalled the names of objects less frequently when the objects were labeled for the opposite sex than when they were labeled either for their own sex or for both sexes. The results are discussed both in terms of implications for adults who aim to broaden the scope of learning available to children and in terms of the need for additional research to clarify the relation between sex-typed labeling and memory mechanisms involved in facilitating or inhibiting recall.

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Correspondence to Marilyn R. Bradbard.

Additional information

This article is based on a dissertation submitted by the first author to the University of Georgia in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Portions of this article were presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, San Francisco, March 1979.

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Bradbard, M.R., Endsley, R.C. The effects of sex-Typed labeling on preschool children's information-Seeking and retention. Sex Roles 9, 247–260 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00289627

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  • Social Psychology
  • Additional Research
  • Preschool Child
  • Verbal Information
  • Memory Mechanism