Publication Date

Fall 2004

Primary Subject Area

Psychology, General


Child Psychology


It is evident in North American society that there are certain roles placed on boys and girls in accordance with their gender. These gender roles are imposed on children from birth and are taught until eventually they are accepted as absolute truth. Newborn babies are carried out of the hospital in either a pink blanket or a blue blanket depending on gender. Gifts of trucks or dolls are given to toddlers depending on the child's sex. Stories about princesses are read to little girls, while stories of dragons and swords are read to little boys. This socialization of gender roles is reinforced through the family, media, and education system. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of childhood on adults' opinions of gender roles. It was hypothesized that this study would lend support to the theory that family has an influential role in determining one's views of gender. However, the findings did not support the hypothesis that college students from non-traditional families would hold more non-traditional gender role stereotypes than children from traditional families.