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Alternative title

Gender Socialization in American

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Riggs, Anne E.

Second Advisor

Fast, Anne A.

Third Advisor

Gonzalez, Antonya


The social changes of the previous decade have led to an increase in gender egalitarianism. Popular national retailers such as Target have removed gender labels from their toy sections in a move toward gender inclusivity (Yagoda, 2016). The goal of the current study was to investigate the relationship between parent and child preferences for gendered objects, in light of these societal changes. We examined whether the shift toward gender egalitarianism in the broader cultural context is evident in both parent and child selections of items in our three domains of interest. In this correlational design, participating dyads (N = 85) responded to questionnaires designed to assess parents’ gender role socialization, parent gender role orientation along with parent and child preferences for items representing a spectrum of gendered stereotypes. Although results did not suggest parent preference predicts child selections on the same task, parent gender role orientation did significantly predict their child’s preferences. As the culture surrounding gender stereotypes and gender roles in the United States continues to shift towards gender egalitarianism, it is important to consider the potential effects on child gender development. Overall, the complex interplay between parents and their children as it relates to gender has lasting implications.




Gender socialization, American culture, attitudes toward gender, gender role orientation, desirability, parent and child preferences, egalitarian, traditional


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Parent and child; Child development; Consumer goods--Social aspects; Gender expression--Social aspects; Stereotypes (Social psychology); Social marketing




masters theses




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