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Abstract

Previous research has found that subjects possessing a self-gender schema in line with gender stereotypes (i.e. sex-typed individuals) are quicker than non-sex-typed subjects in deciding whether a stereotypically masculine or feminine trait adjective is self-descriptive or not. The results of memory tasks are more contradictory. In this study we have supposed that gender-schematic subjects can most effectively process gender-linked information even if it does not relate to the self. More specifically, we hypothesized (a) that sex-typed subjects are quicker than non-sex-typed subjects in deciding whether a trait adjective can be better attributed to men or women and (b) that they recall a greater number of masculine and feminine adjectives and have greater gender-based clustering indices compared with non-sex-typed individuals. Subjects previously identified as Sex-typed, Androgynous, Indifferentiated, and Cross-sex-typed were presented with adjectives referring to stereotypic masculine and feminine traits. The results showed that sex-typed subjects, regardless of their sex, were faster than the other groups in deciding whether a certain trait applied more to a man than to a woman. No significant differences between the groups of subjects were found as to the number of masculine and feminine items being correctly recalled or to gender-based clustering indices.