A new study has reconfirmed it: kids are darned impressionable even when it comes to gender roles.
Researchers split preschoolers into two groups: one group went to class in a gender neutral environment while the other group had teachers deliberately speaking in gendered language. (For instance, they lined the kids up in boy and girl lines, or they asked them to post their work on separate bulletin boards.)
After just two weeks, the gender-brainwashed kids were way more likely to agree with gender stereotypes like “only girls should play with baby dolls or become dancers, and only boys should use tools and become firefighters.” They were also less likely to play with kids of the opposite sex.
Here’s head researcher Lynn Liben:
To the extent that we found that just this classroom organization affected their stereotypes, it’s likely to have some long-standing impacts on things down the line like educational choices and jobs.
You would never say “good morning black children and white children,” or have white and black kids line up separately.
She’s got a point.