Male more than female infants imitate propulsive motion

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Male more than female infants imitate propulsive motion

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Title: Male more than female infants imitate propulsive motion
Author: Benenson, Joyce Frances; Tennyson, Robert; Wrangham, Richard W.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Benenson, Joyce. F., Robert Tennyson, and Richard W. Wrangham. 2011. "Male More Than Female Infants Imitate Propulsive Motion." Cognition 121, no. 2: 262-67.
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Abstract: Few experimental studies investigate the mechanisms by which young children develop sex-typed activity preferences. Gender self-labeling followed by selective imitation of same-sex models currently is considered a primary socialization mechanism. Research with prenatally androgenized girls and non-human primates also suggests an innate male preference for activities that involve propulsive movement. Here we show that before children can label themselves by gender, 6- to 9-month-old male infants are more likely than female infants to imitate propulsive movements. Further, male infants’ increase in propulsive movement was linearly related to proportion of time viewing a male model’s propulsive movements. We propose that male sex-typed behavior develops from socialization mechanisms that build on a male predisposition to imitate propulsive motion.
Published Version: doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2011.07.006
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at
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