A Comparative Study of the Implicit and Explicit Gender Attitudes of Children and College Students



Implicit attitudes and explicit attitudes toward men and women and toward male soldiers and female soldiers were assessed in fifth-graders (28 male, 31 female) and college students (43 male, 42 female). Women were rated more positively than men on an explicit attitude measure. Similarly, female soldiers were rated more positively than male soldiers, except among college men, who were pro-male soldier. Different results emerged from an Implicit Association Test using names of men and women (general gender condition) or of male soldiers and female soldiers (soldier name condition). Latencies indicated pro-female attitudes in the soldier name condition and among women and college students. Error rates also indicated pro-female attitudes, except for a pro-male preference among men in the general gender condition. Reasons that implicit and explicit attitude measures may produce such divergent results are discussed.