Sex role satisfaction among Australian children: some sex, age, and cultural group comparisons

Ailsa Burns*, Ross Homel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Children's satisfaction with being a member of their own sex was explored within two Australian samples. In a national sample of 2,268 children, grades 1–6, trends were similar to those reported in the United States. Girls were less satisfied with their sex role than boys, and older girls were more dissatisfied than younger girls. The most frequent reason girls offered for dissatisfaction with their sex was restriction of sports opportunities. In a smaller sample of 9-11-year-olds (133 boys, 146 girls), chosen to include adequate representation of children of non-Anglo immigrants, it was found that while Anglo-Australian girls were less satisfied with their sex role than boys, non-Anglo girls were just as satisfied as the boys. The non-Anglo girls were no higher in global satisfaction with themselves or with their lives in general than other children. They were, however, less likely to offer self-definitions that included sports abilities and interests. While non-Anglo parents observed a stronger public/private division of labor in certain childcare activities, this difference was not associated with children's satisfaction with their sex role. However, across the entire sample, children's sex-role satisfaction was associated with parents' division of labor on two tasks on which cultural groups did not differ—disciplining and comforting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)285-296
    Number of pages12
    JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
    Volume10
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1986

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