Developmental Trajectories of Sex-Typed Behavior in Boys and Girls: A Longitudinal General Population Study of Children Aged 2.5–8 Years

Authors


  • We are extremely grateful to all the families who took part in this study, the midwives for their help in recruiting them, and the whole Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) team, which includes interviewers, computer and laboratory technicians, clerical workers, research scientists, volunteers, managers, receptionists, and nurses. The UK Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. This research was specifically funded by the Wellcome Trust.

concerning this article should be addressed to Susan Golombok, Centre for Family Research, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Free School Lane, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3RF, United Kingdom. Electronic mail may be sent to seg42@cam.ac.uk.

Abstract

The stability of sex-typed behavior from the preschool to the middle school years was examined. The Preschool Activities Inventory, a measure of within-sex variation in sex-typed behavior, was completed by the primary caregiver when the child was 2.5, 3.5, and 5 years, and a modified version, the Child Activities Inventory, was completed by the child at age 8. The investigation involved a general population sample of 2,726 boys and 2,775 girls. Sex-typed behavior increased through the preschool years, and those children who were the most sex typed at age 2.5 were still the most sex typed at age 5, with those children who showed the highest levels of sex-typed behavior during the preschool years continuing to do so at age 8.

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