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Research in Science journal shows stereotypes kick in early

(17 Posts)
whoputthecatout Fri 27-Jan-17 16:45:21

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38717926

Stereotyping about gender "value" hits girls as early as 6 according to research in Science.

So now we know...as if we didn't already.

SallyInSweden Fri 27-Jan-17 21:20:12

I would have said earlier actually. I remember one of mine wearing a Superhero T-Shirt aged 3 and other kids at nursery asking "why is she wearing a boys T-Shirt?" And "Is she a boy?"

So sad/annoying/enlightening.

kelpeed Sat 28-Jan-17 22:14:34

yy. kicks in surpisingly early. my then 4yo ds had a young girl at nursery tell him he was not able to join a group of teddybears having a tea party because only girls could have tea parties. The other girls piled in, agreeing with her.

He was also told by the girl in no uncertain terms that he was not able to wear a wig with long plaits sewn into it because it was for girls only. she snatched it off and sat on it. My son was quite distressed about her behaviour.

The very young and inexperienced carer just sat there. So i said to the girl that he could do and wear whatever hat he liked. I very gently asked her which teddy bears were boys, and she said all of them, so pointed out her misplaced logic that boy human bears werent able to sit at the table. I then gave him the hat, and sat him at the table. I pulled the carer aside and said that we paid the same fees as this girls parents and as such my ds was eligbile to have the same access to toys and dressups as the girls.

I also spoke with the manager, who agreed with me, and showed me the policies setting out equality. She undertook to talk with the carers , to make sure such behaviour did not get legs. She was aware that this girl, who was new and had recently come from an US nursery, had tried to police toys along girl/boy lines in quite strong terms. even so, I am pretty sure the young carer let a lot of this stuff go.

My son stopped wearing his cousins' old pink clothes, which were his favourites, during this time at the nursery.

TiggyD Sat 28-Jan-17 22:29:23

I'd say 3. A had a 3 year old girl in my nursery tell me exactly which colours were for boys and which for girls recently, as as for the dressing up!

ErrolTheDragon Sat 28-Jan-17 22:29:35

That study is about something worse than just what kids wear etc. though, isn't it? The erosion of confidence - I suspect it may come from observation of adults (mum deferring to dad on matters technical maybe?), plus seeing more men than women in 'smart' jobs. And so the cycle repeats in too many cases.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 28-Jan-17 22:32:58

The identification of gender roles at 3 is probably a prerequisite for the later change in judgement of their talents.

DeviTheGaelet Sat 28-Jan-17 22:37:12

I wonder if it's something to do with starting school. The research shows its not there at age 5.
Perhaps school is where the socialisation really kicks in - girls being praised for sitting quietly, trying hard and boys for being clever and not penalised for being noisy/active etc. Athen nursery the ratios are higher so school is also when the children start mixing in much larger mixed sex groups and maybe even with older children.
I don't know - but the fact it changes in a year is interesting.

ASqueakingInTheShrubbery Sat 28-Jan-17 22:42:45

DD had a touch of this in the summer, aged just under 3. She refused to use her cousin's loo seat as it was red and had cars on, so it was 'for boys.' A quick reminder that red is her favourite colour and she's a girl, plus a list of half a dozen family members who are female and drive cars, put the knackers on it for the time being. I'm alert to any more of it, and prepared with a selection of 'auntie J is a doctor,' 'Sam's mummy is an engineer,' 'Ben's mummy is a scientist' and so on.

ATailofTwoKitties Sat 28-Jan-17 22:53:41

The stereotypes are so strong - it's as though they outweigh anything in the child's own experience.

DS was around 3 when he tried to argue, in all seriousness, that doctors were men and nurses were 'ladies'. Every doctor he had ever been to had been female. And his uncle is a nurse.

VestalVirgin Sun 29-Jan-17 12:13:13

DS was around 3 when he tried to argue, in all seriousness, that doctors were men and nurses were 'ladies'. Every doctor he had ever been to had been female. And his uncle is a nurse.

Where did he get that idea? Picture books? TV? At 3, a child shouldn't have been exposed to so much media; it's baffling that he formed that opinion in spite of reality.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 29-Jan-17 12:23:03

Where did he get that idea? Picture books? TV? At 3, a child shouldn't have been exposed to so much media; it's baffling that he formed that opinion in spite of reality

I wondered that as well. A 3 year old might be spending some time in a nursery or with a nanny or childminder but one would hope any decent nursery, nanny or childminder would not propagate this and otherwise surely the most influence is from the child's immediate home surroundings.

Perhaps school is where the socialisation really kicks in - girls being praised for sitting quietly, trying hard and boys for being clever and not penalised for being noisy/active etc.

Does this actually happen?

DeviTheGaelet Sun 29-Jan-17 12:50:02

Err yes it does lass it's been observed in classrooms
time.com/3705454/teachers-biases-girls-education/
Like a lot of subconscious bias though I doubt teachers are aware they are doing it.

MrsJayy Sun 29-Jan-17 12:55:06

Not really new information really 1 of my Dds loved Thomas the tank and at 3 a little girl said you have boy wellies Thomas is for boys this was 20 yrs ago it's a shame things are not changing

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 29-Jan-17 12:58:39

I'm really baffled why a 3 year old would say that doctors were men and nurses were 'ladies'.

It cannot possibly reflect the reality of what he has seen; it doesn't reflect what is depicted in shows like Casualty or Holby City (not that a 3 year old would be watching them); there can't surely be anyone in real life who has not encountered a female doctor or a male nurse?

geekaMaxima Sun 29-Jan-17 14:02:54

I'm really baffled why a 3 year old would say that doctors were men and nurses were 'ladies'.

It cannot possibly reflect the reality of what he has seen

Sometimes it only takes one strong voice to convince a young child about stereotypes. sad

My 3 year old DS has said similar things after spending time with one particular boy at his childminder's. This boy is aged about 6 and comes for a couple of hours a day of after-school care, and often says things like "girls can't be doctors", "cars are only for boys", etc. Unfortunately, DS hero-worships him a bit and takes everything he says as gospel, even when it contradicts his own experience. Hence, DS has told me "doctors are men" even when all the doctors he's ever seen have been female. confused

It's hard work deprogramming him.

ATailofTwoKitties Sun 29-Jan-17 14:54:54

I don't know why he was so adamant about it. Yes, he spent three days a week at nursery - perhaps one of the older children told him not to wear the nurse's outfit, who knows. Our aged Richard Scarry books had a female nurse and male doctor; maybe that's all it took, despite his personal experience being different.

DameDeDoubtance Sun 29-Jan-17 15:44:13

So much is when they start school and they are surrounded by their sexes stereotype. Dd wore a wide selection of clothes, played with a wide selection of toys etc but when she started school she came home with a fixed idea about what girls wear and play with.

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