The traditional male-female ordering found in American society may reinforce stereotypic attributions of traits to the two sexes. This hypothesis was tested by having female and male college students rate female and male stimulus persons on 12 traits after reading story paragraphs that varied the sex, the ages of the stimulus persons, and the order of presenting the stimulus persons. When the male was tested before the female stimulus person (traditional order), each sex received more favorable ratings on traits usually considered socially desirable for the sex. When the female was tested before the male (counter traditional order), female stimulus persons continued to receive more favorable ratings on traits usually associated with females than the male stimulus persons, but they also received more favorable ratings on traits usually associated with males. Trait attributions also differed for the four age groups tested.