Although boys outshine girls in a range of motor skills, there are no reported gender differences in motor performance during infancy. This study examined gender bias in mothers' expectations about their infants' motor development. Mothers of 11-month-old infants estimated their babies' crawling ability, crawling attempts, and motor decisions in a novel locomotor task-crawling down steep and shallow slopes. Mothers of girls underestimated their performance and mothers of boys overestimated their performance. Mothers' gender bias had no basis in fact. When we tested the infants in the same slope task moments after mothers' provided their ratings, girls and boys showed identical levels of motor performance.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.