Sex differences in gender-related childhood memories

Ariella Friedman, Ayala Pines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Based on theories of gender development, especially the one proposed by Nancy Chodorow, it was predicted that boys' gender-related childhood memories will be different from girls' on five dimensions related to activity, emotionality, and sex appropriateness. Forty-five men and 45 women were asked to describe their earliest gender-related childhood memories. The memories were analyzed by two judges. The data document a significant sex difference in the activity and emotionality of the memories. Men's memories were more active and women's more emotional. The predictions that men's memories of sex-appropriate behavior will be more positive, will have fewer deviations from sex-appropriate behavior, and when such deviations occur, they will be associated with more negative emotions were not confirmed. It is suggested that childhood memories can be seen as reflecting actual differences between the sexes in childhood experiences, or as the result of a process of memory selection that reflects men's and women's different gender-related experiences as adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalSex Roles
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sex differences in gender-related childhood memories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this