Year of Publication

2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Rachel H. Farr

Abstract

Gender presentation, appearing in a way that fits social expectations of one’s gender role, represents one of the most obvious ways in which one’s gender identity becomes salient to others. This quality is especially relevant to note given the continued controversy surrounding children’s gender role development when raised by non-heterosexual parents. The current study is an examination of how gender presentation develops in adopted children with lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents across two time points (Wave 1: N = 106, Mage = 36.07 months; Wave 2: N = 90, Mage = 8.34). Children’s gender presentation was analyzed using a novel coding scheme, consisting of several variables meant to target the presence of gender typed clothing. These elements of appearance were compared with several measures of child outcomes. It was found that children generally adhere to presentation elements of their assigned gender and there were limited differences by parental sexual orientation in any of the gender presentation variables. Additionally, there was no association found between conformity in gender presentation and children’s self-perception or parent or child gender-typical attitudes. The results of this initial study may prove to be useful in ongoing research surrounding children’s gender typicality.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2018.182

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