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Yes (only boys & high masc pref girls)

a All studies contained a same-sex label and an opposite-sex label condition. The studies that included a neutral condition either used a both boys and girls label (Both) or a No Label (NL) condition. b This study included a no labeling (NL) control condition; however it was not a neutral condition because the children observed either a same-sex or opposite-sex model engaging with the toys (i.e., modeling only condition). c This nonsignificant approach/avoidance finding is subsumed by an overall null gender labeling effect. d This nonsignificant approach/avoidance finding for girls is subsumed by an overall null gender labeling effect. e Girls showed significant approach behavior only when a female experimenter provided labels. This was not found when a male experimenter provided labels to girls. f Only 23% remembered or agreed with the label offered by the experimenter.

a All studies contained a same-sex label and an opposite-sex label condition. The studies that included a neutral condition either used a both boys and girls label (Both) or a No Label (NL) condition. b This study included a no labeling (NL) control condition; however it was not a neutral condition because the children observed either a same-sex or opposite-sex model engaging with the toys (i.e., modeling only condition). c This nonsignificant approach/avoidance finding is subsumed by an overall null gender labeling effect. d This nonsignificant approach/avoidance finding for girls is subsumed by an overall null gender labeling effect. e Girls showed significant approach behavior only when a female experimenter provided labels. This was not found when a male experimenter provided labels to girls. f Only 23% remembered or agreed with the label offered by the experimenter.

use of equally attractive novel toys and activities has allowed researchers to separate the influence of children's stereotypes of activities from children's prior history and experience with those activities (Martin et al., 2002; Martin & Dinella, 2002). This helps control for a couple of the potential factors (e.g., attractiveness, familiarity) that may have influenced the results in the other studies. Similarly, experimental studies allow researchers to make causal inferences regarding the influence of gender stereotypes on behaviors. Given that cognitive theories of gender development view cognitions as causal factors in children's gender-typed behaviors, experimental studies provide a more direct test of this prediction when compared to nonexperimental designs.

The following sections explore the research that has examined the effect of gender labels on children's exploratory behavior, preferences, and performance.9 These studies are summarized in Table 13.1. While these studies generally show clear labeling effects, the results seem to depend on age, sex, type of dependent variable, whether approach or avoidance effects are examined, and by the type of label that is applied (i.e., category versus ability). Thus, the table is organized according to these factors. The following sections highlight the main conclusions regarding these variations and examine methodological issues that are relevant for future research. First, the general findings for each of the three dependent variables are presented and sex and age differences are described (see Martin & Dinella, 2002, for a detailed review of these studies). Following this review, we examine patterns in children's approach and avoidance behaviors, present two hypotheses that explain the inconsistencies in the literature in terms of the interaction between age and type of label, and illustrate alternative theoretical interpretations of the results.

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