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Children's appearance as a facilitator in person perception typology

Stanley, M. Sue
A stimulus sex (male and female) by stimulus fashion (initiator and acceptor) within subjects design was used to determine behavioral expectations of fourth grade children and fourth grade teachers. Symbolic interaction formed the theory base. Sketches of four children representing stimulus sex and stimulus fashion were used. Behavioral expectation responses were developed from Lerner and Korn's verbal checklist of physical social and personal attributes. Significant differences were found. Boys rated the male figures more favorably; girls rated the initiator figures more favorably. Female teachers rated the male acceptor figure more favorably. No significant main effects or interactions were found for male teachers. Results were interpreted from the perspective of role theory, particularly sex-role stereotyping. Implications for parents, educators, and retailers focused on the impact of socialization of the child with possible directing toward specific behaviors and fashion consumption.