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Giving Sex

PROCEDURE. If the subject is a boy, the formula is: "_Are you a little
boy or a little girl?_" If a girl, "_Are you a little girl or a little
boy?_" This variation in the formula is necessary because of the
tendency in young children to repeat mechanically the last word of
anything that is said to them. If there is no response, say: "_Are you a
little girl?_" (if a boy); or, "_Are you a little boy?_" (if a girl). If
the answer to the last question is "no" (or a shake of the head), we
then say: "_Well, what are you? Are you a little boy or a little girl?_"
(or _vice versa_).

SCORING. The response is satisfactory if it indicates that the child has
really made the discrimination, but we must be cautious about accepting
any other response than the direct answer, "A little girl," or, "A
little boy." "Yes" and "no" in response to the second question must be
carefully checked up.

REMARKS. Binet and Goddard say that 3-year-olds cannot pass this test
and that 4-year-olds almost never fail. We can accept the last part of
this statement, but not the first part. Nearly all of our 3-year-old
subjects succeed with it.

The test probably has nothing to do with sex consciousness, as such.
Success in it would seem to depend on the ability to discriminate
between familiar class names which are in a certain degree related.

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