Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper

Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper


The term attachment is generally defined as an enduring affectional bond with a substantial intensity and durability. Dr. Bowlby in his research papers defines and describes attachment as a fundamental behavioral system which is substantially attached to predictable outcomes in keeping an individual in close proximity to one or a few significant others. (Dr.Bowlby, October 1994)

Mc Clure Elin B in his psychological bulletin defines Infant perceived gender and adolescents’ ratings as a meta-analytic review in sex differences in facial expression processing and their development in infants, children and adolescents. Many researchers agree that gender role socialization begins and is adopted at a very early stage or infants’ birth. Most parents, at the time of birth of a child are interested in learning whether their newborn child is a boy or a girl and intentionally or not, this knowledge places with them a set of expectations about sex role appropriate traits. Empirical research suggests and marks carefully that these initial expectations, which form the very early and basis of gender schemas can have a significant effect on parents’ perceptions of and behaviour towards infants (McClure & B, 2000). Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper

Gender statistics contributes a lot to adult, responsiveness towards the child and his own behaviour towards socializing and development of the child’s sense of self. A self-fulfilling prophecy process is needed to attain a gender role socialization and a sex-typed behaviour and it is generally attained in connection with stereo-typed expectations(Darley and Fazio,1980).a prejudice and a preconceived gender based expectations process entitles the infant to ellicit an expected behaviour and further on reinforces this expected behaviour when it occurs and this is supposed to confirm parents’ initial expectations. (Bell & Carver, 1980). Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper


Recent researches have explored and demonstrated sex-typed labels and effect of infant gender on adults’ assignment and created adult sex-typed infants. These research have explored vast subject population and children of varying ages. Children as a primary source of information, parents in one study, were asked to rate and describe their new-borns shortly after their birth. Although the infants were not discriminated and differentiated on objective measures, girls were rated as smaller, more soft, more fine-featured and inattentive as compared to boys or male infants. Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper

Culp et al, found out that parents react differently to their unfamiliar infants due to preconceived sex assumptions and supported the notion(through other researches included) that parents react differently towards their male and female infants. This research suggests that parents are inclined to perceive traits in an infant, in consistency with gender labels. Also Fagot, suggests that parents of toddlers reacted differently towards girls’ and boys’ behavior. Parents reacted more positively to girls as compared to boys when toddlers played with dolls and reacted more critically towards girls as compared to boys when toddlers were engaged in motor activity. As a group these researches suggest that adult responses coincide with culturally and socially assigned sex-stereotypes and supposedly gender labels which are independent of actual infant gender differences. These studies suggest that how expectations and gender labels assigned to the infant affect both the reactions and behaviour of the adults. Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper

(Culp, Cook, S., & & Housley, 1983)


Although researches have examined sex stereo-typing of infants by adults, parents in particular, few researches have explored childrens’ or adolescents’ sex-typing of infants. Stern and Karrekar studied the sex-biased perceptions and presumptions of infants who were labeled as either male or female and concluded that adults’ perceptions are rarely influenced by basic knowledge of infants’ sex. However, research also suggests that young children rate infants in a sex-typed fashion much more frequently than adults. None of the studies included in the review examination examined sex-stereotyping of infants by older children or adolescents. One study suggests that how sex-specified perceptions of infants change during the early adolescent period ranging from high school to middle school (junior-aged)ages. A number of studies have examined adolescents’ sex-stereotyping of older individuals in addition to adolescents’ sex-stereotyped perceptions of infants. Many researchers examined that sex stereotyping increases between ages of 3 and 14. Some studies have suggested curvilinear relationship between age and sex stereotyping relative among younger subjects and adolescents using sex stereotypes less than other children. However most of these studies suggest a rise in sex stereotyping from pre-school through middle childhood, then showing a plateau, and then a decline and a decrease in adolescence. (Fagot, 1978). Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper

The main purpose of this study includes a systemmatic examination of infants’ perceived gender on adolescents’ ratings towards the infants. However, some studies suggest that differences in the ratings of perceived male or a perceived female infant are a function of actual gender differentiation of the said observer, Older women particularly mothers, often give more positive ratings as compared to other subjects and girls tend to rate infants more beautiful as compared to boys do.

Participants(subject population) is selected and attributed to represent adolescent age period(aged from 12 to 14 years )old. In consistency with Haugh et al and other studies being reviewed here, it is expected that the act of labeling infants with sex-typed first names will elicit responses among all other learned attributes associated with gender-category labels. Such “genderization” or gender category labels such as “male” or “female” will elicit a broad set of associated attributes. The prediction is that adolescents will use sex-related cues (i, e name of infant) to make evaluations about the infants given the minimal information about the infants. The second hypothesis states that, regardless to the name assigned to the infant, the males and females will perceive the infants in a different manner. (Condry & & Condry, 1976). Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper



Thirty six junior high students(aged 12 to 14 years) attending a public school in west Covinia, California are used as participants. The students are part of leadership class and the said school is located in a predominantly middle-lower class section of the society. The informed consent is being taken by parents or legal guardians of the junior high students and incentive is being given so that the students are persuaded to give their informed consent papers duly signed by the parents or the legal guardian.Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper


The part of the study may be considered as a 2(gender specification of the adolescent)times 3(multiplied by 3) infant name condition between -subject factorials design because there are two independent variables. The gender of the adolescents have the two decidedly levels, “male” or a “female”. However, the infant name condition has three levels i,e,Laurie, Larry and the control condition.The dependant measures includes adolescents’ ratings of the infants through six bipolar adjectives.


A color image or a photograph of a 3-year old infant is used for the above mentioned assumptions or conditions.The image of the infant is photo copied on 21.6x 27.9 cm paper.Several se-typed bipolar adjectives are being attached with the photograph. The first name of the infant changes changes in each condition. In one condition the infant will be assigned a gender-typed version of his first name Larry and in the control condition the name “this infant” will be used in place of his first name. Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper


The procedure is very easy. Students will be tested in groups in three consecutive days. The parents or guardians are being informed the purpose of the study that how infant’s traits can be detected from their physical appearance. Twelve adolescents from the leadership class are assigned to each of the three gender-typed name conditions.

Each group is tested on a separate given day. On each day the students are being told the importance of not telling other potential subjects the details of the underlying study and they are also told that they will be informed by the result and purpose of the study as soon as the research is compiled and completed.

All students will be tested in the same classroom given the study carrels to block their views from one another. No distortion to be made. The instructions are given to each group of students in a loud and neutral tone. The students are being told that there are no wrong or right answers, however, the answers depend on their personal opinion. All questions be answered before the students start rating the answers. When the students are finished with their work, they are thanked for completing the contributing towards the research. Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper


The six-bipolar adjectives will be rated by the adolescents in each condition of the independent variables.The result ranges from the values of 1-5.where 1 stands or means “firm” and 5 means “soft”.Scores on each of the bipolar adjective is analyzed.The maen and standard deviation of each condition of the independent variable is taken.The inferential statistics are performed in a two-way procedures between subjects ANOVA and Turkey’s HSD are used to signify the groups differently.


The results will be restated in the light of above hypothesis. The results will be predicted and the generality of sex-stereotyped perceptions of infants are extended to the subject population of the adolescents. Results related to previous research and assessments with theoretical aspects of the introduction section will also be discussed. Limitations of the current research are being specified. One limitation is that we used one photograph of one particular infant more photographs of infants of various ages can be used in future research and evaluations. Finally the results and importance will be summarized. Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper


Bell, N. J., & Carver, W. (1980). A reevaluation of gender label effects: Expectant mothers’ responses to infants. Child Development.

Bowlby, D. (October 1994). Adolescents’ perceptions of their attachment relationships with their mothers, fathers, and friends. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Condry, J., & & Condry, S. (1976). Sex differences: A study of the eye of the beholder. Child Development.

Culp, R. E., Cook, S., A., & & Housley, P. C. (1983). Sex Roles,.

Fagot, B. I. (1978). The influences of sex of child on parental reactions to toddler children. Child development.

McClure, & B, E. (2000, May ). American Psycological Association. Retrieved from www.psycnet.apa.org: http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/126/3/424/. Effect of Gender Labels on Infants Essay Paper

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