I have evidence that gender, specifically, “correctly” expressed gender, is the most powerful factor in forming our thoughts about a person’s character, even in the ABSENCE of an actual person to serve as an example. We have all been shaped by gender role lessons. Allow me to explain how I know you’re like me, and you have also judged on this basis.
You don’t need a person in front of you to be influenced by the lessons we are taught about what makes a proper girl or boy
Think about anticipating the birth of a baby who will be important in your life. Isn’t it true that imagining the baby’s gender has the greatest influence over your thoughts about the future person? You imagine her appearance, her likely name, how you will dress her, activities you’ll share, all you will give her that you went withou, the relationship you plan to create, etc. There is no other variable that exerts such a formative influence over our plans for the unborn. Not race, age of birth parents, region of birth–name any characteristic. Only gender gives you fully formed images about the unborn person. Ever imagine what you’ll do with a fellow native New Yorker, for example. That’s the considerable power of societal gender role expectations. Pretty significant pre-existing notions, yes?