Boy or Girl
Kennedy Kopke
Mulgrave School
Floor Location : J 211 D

For this experiment, I have investigated if children’s choices about gender in different jobs are affected by stereotypes. This idea started because of my everyday experience. I get categorized by my gender, whether it is the clothes I should wear or the things I should like. I started to wonder, how young do kids start categorizing by gender stereotypes in the workplace?

I tested the grade twos and fours, and expected the young kids to chose their own gender when given the choice between male and female, because their prefrontal cortex is less developed, which partly handles personality development. Because of this, the child would be more likely to make selfish decisions. On the other hand, I thought the older kids would stick to there own gender because they were more exposed to stereotypes and are more comfortable categorizing by them.

The way I executed this experiment was through a google form. At my school kids get iPads halfway through grade two, so I ended up printing the form for them. I asked the children their grade and gender, and then to chose one of two for each occupation. There were one male and one female for each job. The occupations were a doctor, nurse, flight attendant, cashier, lawyer, firefighter.

My hypothesis partly supported my data. This is because around 75% of the time, children stuck to their own gender. With grade twos and fours, the data is very similar. I believe this is because of the two year age difference. If I wanted a huge difference in data then I should have tested grade twos, and compared that to grade tens. This would show a bigger difference between ages, and stages of life.

In conclusion, this experiment had a precise form that tested the children and accurate test. It could be improved through a wider age range to test, and deeper analysis from the children about their decisions. If given the time, this experiment could have tested more subjects from different backgrounds to add another component to the experiment. Overall, this experiment has a few flaws that could be fixed with time, although it was a very interesting phycological experiment.