Gender and computers. II. The interactive effects of knowledge and constancy on gender-stereotyped attitudes

Leonard S. Newman, Joel Cooper, Diane N. Ruble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


A number of studies have failed to find that gender constancy (understanding that one's gender is permanent) predicts gender-typed attitudes and behavior. This study (run with a predominantly white sample) tests the hypothesis that gender constant children are motivated to master gender roles, but that how well they do so depends on their knowledge of gender stereotypes. We predicted that attitudes toward computer use (a stereotypically male activity) would be less positive only for 5-9-year-old gender constant girls who also had rich gender stereotypes. Predictions were confirmed, especially for girls whose constancy had recently increased. These data thus suggest that the clearest picture of gender role development emerges when both the unique and interactive effects of gender constancy and gender schema development are assessed. They also indicate that gender differences in computer attitudes can develop through self-socialization processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-351
Number of pages27
JournalSex Roles
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Sep 1 1995
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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