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Journal Article

Maternal Behavior and Perceived Sex of Infant: Revisited

Caroline Smith and Barbara Lloyd
Child Development
Vol. 49, No. 4 (Dec., 1978), pp. 1263-1265
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1128775
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1128775
Page Count: 3
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Maternal Behavior and Perceived Sex of Infant: Revisited
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Abstract

Mothers of 32 firstborn infants aged 5-10 months were videotaped playing with a 6-month-old "actor baby." 2 female infants and 2 males appeared equally often as actor babies in sex-appropriate and cross-sex clothes and names. Sex-typed and sex-neutral toys were available. Initial toy choice varied with perceived sex of infant. Perceived boys were verbally encouraged to gross motor activity more often than perceived girls, but there were no significant differences in overall physical stimulation. However, mothers responded to the gross motor behavior of perceived boys with gross motor activity significantly more often. Results suggest early socialization in the direction of a masculine stereotype of activity and physical prowess.

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