The National Science Foundation has awarded $138,000 to scholars at the University of Washington to aid them in studying “early gender development.”
The grant explains, “the project will involve asking 250, 4- to 6-year olds and their parents to complete a battery of measures assessing early and current gender socialization, children’s internal sense of gender identity, children’s gendered behavior (e.g., preferences for gender-typed toys) and measures of related gender cognition (e.g., memory for gender-consistent vs. inconsistent behaviors).”
“These measures will allow the researchers to examine the relative contributions of internal gender identity and socialization and ultimately provide a more comprehensive theory accounting for early gender development,” the grant adds.
“Prominent theories of gender development have discussed the degree to which gender identity results from an internal sense of gender and socialization processes,” the grant claims. “However, tests of these theories have been limited because, for most children, internal gender identity and environmental socialization substantially overlap, rendering it impossible to distinguish the relative impact of each factor on gender development.”
“Internal gender identity and environmental socialization” typically overlap in children, resulting in difficulty determining “the relative impact of each factor on gender development.”
The study questions whether current theories on gender sufficiently explain the “wider range of human gender experiences” that we see today.
The grant of $138,000 was received by the University of Washington in July and the study will continue through June 2019, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
Kristina Olson and Selin Gülgöz, two researchers at the university that were involved with the school’s “TransYouth Project,” will be leading the study.
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