Self-regulation of gender-role behaviors: A case study Academic Article uri icon


  • Behavioral observation of a four-year-old boy with "gender identity confusion" found predominantly feminine gender-typed play in both clinic and pre-school settings. In the clinic, differential social reinforcement contingencies mediated by the mother resulted in a marked increase in masculine play, but this effect was stimulus-specific. Following the social reinforcement intervention, self-monitoring procedures in the clinic produced (1) high and stable rates of masculine gender-typed play and (2) treatment generalization to similar toys. In the pre-school setting, moderately high base rate frequencies of cross-dress-up play, feminine role play, and play with girls were recorded. Self-monitoring for cross-dress-up play resulted in an initial reactive effect which decreased over four sessions. When a "self-reinforcement" procedure was superimposed upon the self-monitoring of cross-dress-up play, cross-dressing substantially decreased, and response generalization resulted in feminine role play, but not in play with girls. A one-year psychodiagnostic follow-up evaluation is reported. © 1977.

author list (cited authors)

  • Rekers, G. A., & Varni, J. W.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Rekers, George A||Varni, James W

publication date

  • December 1977