Journal article

Gender stereotypes and biases in early childhood: A systematic review

Tania L King, Anna J Scovelle, Anneke Meehl, Allison J Milner, Naomi Priest



This review aimed to synthesise studies examining the presence of gender stereotypes and biases expressed by young children aged 3–5 years, with a focus on informing early childhood settings. Our review located only 21 separate studies in 16 articles, highlighting a dearth of research in this area. There was substantial heterogeneity in the operationalisation of gender stereotypes and biases. There was evidence that children in early childhood are aware of, and can apply, gender stereotypes. There was also evidence of the malleability of these biases and stereotypes. The social and cultural environment plays a large role in defining the cues by which young children classify on the basis of g..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship

Awarded by Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Funding Acknowledgements

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by a University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Business Improvement Program (BIP) Reinvestment grant and an Australian Research Council Linkage Project Gender equality in Australia: impact on social, economic and health outcomes (LP180100035). AM was supported by a Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowship, AJS is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (#1191061) and the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scheme and TLK is supported by a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE200100607).