Gender Stereotypes Lab

Welcome to the Gender Stereotypes Lab

We are a Psychology research group based at Abertay University and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Research in our lab focuses on gender stereotypes and how they influence cognition and behaviour in everyday life, particularly in adolescence. 

Our main research aim is to understand and reduce the influence of gender stereotypes on young people's decision making, for example in academic subject choices and career aspirations.

We are an applied research group so we share our research with educational practitioners and policy makers. See below for links to our specific research projects and educational resources.

Abertay University   |  University of Aberdeen

Gender stereotypes in adolescence

Our research in nine to fifteen year olds shows that young people demonstrate a high degree of knowledge about gender stereotypes in both school subjects and occupations, however they are less likely to personally agree with the gender stereotypes. This difference between levels of knowledge and personal agreement i.e., stereotype rejection, is higher in 13-15 year old girls than any other age group. Adolescent boys are more likely to report personal agreement with gender stereotypes and this is linked to boys choosing more male-stereotypic subjects.  

Current research projects

Measuring gender attitudes

Our research in children and adults is examining the levels of gender stereotype knowledge and personal agreement, in academic subjects and occupations. The purpose of this project is to provide an overview of current gender attitudes in males and females from childhood, adolescence and adulthood, and to examine how these attitudes influence behaviour and choices. 

Social learning and peer influence

We are exploring the extent to which social learning from peers interacts with gender stereotypes to influence young people's decision making. We are testing the influence of same-gender and other-gender peer influences in both lab-based tasks (e.g., choosing whether to copy a peer response in a quiz task) and real-world contexts (i.e., choosing which subjects to study at school). 

Gender minority subject choices

We are studying the factors that influence young people's decisions to study an academic subject in which they will be part of a gender minority. We are also exploring the consequences of gender-minority membership for males and females at different developmental stages. This project in designed to help us understand and address the gender biases that persist in academic subject choices.  

Impact on practice

We work with gender equalities groups in Education Scotland and the Scottish Executive, with the aim of including evidence-based practice in policy decisions and resource provision.

We offer free workshops and resources for schools, colleges and other educational institutions (click here for more information).