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Same-sex preference in infancy

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Current developmental theories of sex-typing suggest that children begin to play with same-sex others, and subsequently show a preference for sex-typed play after comprehending that they are themselves male or female. However, they neglect to explain how children show these preferences before labelling on the basis of sex, and why boys are more robust in their sex-typed behaviour. Further, there has been little attempt to investigate the possible beginnings of sex-typed behaviour in infancy, and no attempt to monitor preference for same-sex friends relative to sex-congruent activity preference. In this study, 3-month-old infants' sex-typed peer and activity preferences are investigated using a visual preference task. Both sexes preferred to attend to the male peers and these results are considered in an evolutionary context.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-04-01

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