SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

This study explores the relationships among childhood activities, masculine and feminine characteristics, and career choices. Sixty–three career women and 62 homemakers ranging in age from 34 to 48 completed a retrospective survey of their childhood activities, interests, aspirations, and academic pursuits. The toys, games, activities, and aspirations listed by the subjects were then assigned masculinity and femininity scores and were used to predict (1) career choice (homemaker or career woman) and (2) current masculinity and femininity as measured by the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ). Adult masculinity was strongly predicted by childhood masculine interests and activities while adult femininity was only weakly predicted by childhood feminine interests and activities. Masculine interests/activities were more powerful in discriminating career women from homemakers than were feminine interests/activities. The results of this study indicate that childhood participation in sex–typed activities is associated with the adult personality characteristics of masculinity and femininity, and adult role choices. These results are discussed in light of longitudinal evidence that suggests that they reflect consistent life–long patterns.