Gendered Robots Can Change Children’s Gender Stereotyping
- Kallyn Song-Nichols, Cognitive Science, Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, United States
- Andrew Young, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois, United States
AbstractResearch suggests children readily treat robots as social actors and sources of information for learning. Here we ask if children use depictions of gender-counterstereotypic robots (e.g., a female construction worker robot) and gender-stereotypic robots (e.g., a female secretary robot) as sources of information about cultural gender stereotypes. Forty-five 6- to 8-year-old children participated in a short counterstereotyping task. Children in the counterstereotypical condition viewed videos of cartoon female gendered robots with culturally stereotyped masculine occupations, interests in activities, and traits. Children in the stereotypical condition viewed videos of cartoon female gendered robots with culturally stereotyped feminine attributes. Children completed a measure of gender stereotyping before and after viewing the intervention videos. From pretest to posttest, children’s gender stereotyping decreased in the counterstereotypical condition and increased in the stereotypical condition. These finding suggest children may learn from robots as models of cultural gender stereotypes.
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