A Statistical Investigation into the Prevalence of Gender Stereotyping in 5-7 year olds and the Development of an Initiative to Combat Gender Bias.

Gender stereotyping negatively impacts on emotional development, mental health and career choices. Does gender bias exist in 5-7 year olds and what can be done to combat it?

Over a 4 week period we held workshops with 376 senior infant and first class pupils across 5 schools (co-educational and single sex). We devised participatory research activities to gauge the pupil’s views on various aspects of gender stereotyping:

  1. Choosing favourite toy.
  2. Linking emotions/feelings to gender.
  3. Rating the competency of males/females in STEM/Non-STEM occupations.
  4. Rating STEM/Non-STEM subjects.
  5. Draw an engineer (male/female). 
  6. Future job preferences.


We uploaded our data set on SPSS and ran cross tabulation tables by class, gender, school type and location. We ran ANOVAs and where the p values were less than 0.05 we ran Post Hoc Tests to determine which specific groups showed a statistically significant difference.



Based on our results as outlined above, we conclude that gender stereotyping exists in 5-7 year olds in all areas investigated. Some statistically significantly differences exist between school type. To combat gender stereotyping, we have gathered resources to be used in schools as part of Aistear and SPHE (Social Personal and Health Education) curricula that explicitly target gender bias including: