A Multidimensional Examination of Children's Endorsement of Gender Stereotypes




Miller, Cindy Faith
Wheeler, Lorey A.
Woods, Bobbi

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




The present research applied a multidimensional framework to the study of gender stereotypes by investigating whether elementary school children display different levels of endorsement when considering distinct gender stereotype constructs (ability, category, and interest) and feminine versus masculine stereotypes. Study 1 (N = 403) compared children's ability and category beliefs using a set of gender-neutral skill items. Study 2 (N = 539) extended this research by examining whether children showed different patterns of ability and category decisions for feminine versus masculine occupational items. Study 3 (N = 974) furthered our understanding of the construct dimension by comparing children's interest and ability decisions within the STEM domain. Findings revealed that older elementary school children endorsed ability stereotypes more strongly than category stereotypes and, across all age groups, children endorsed interest stereotypes more strongly than ability stereotypes. Findings also revealed age differences in how children think about masculine versus feminine stereotypes. For masculine stereotypes, younger children showed stronger endorsement than older children; however, for feminine stereotypes, the reverse pattern was found such that older children showed more stereotyped thinking than younger children. The present study illustrates the benefits of employing a multidimensional framework to gain a more nuanced understanding of how children apply their increasing knowledge of gender stereotypes.



elementary school, feminine and masculine stereotypes, gender stereotypes, multidimensional framework, stereotype constructs


Miller, C. F., Wheeler, L. A., & Woods, B. (2023). A multidimensional examination of children's endorsement of gender stereotypes. Social Development, pp. 1-22.


Rights Holder

© 2023 The Authors. Social Development published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Rights License

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

Rights URI