There is a common question used to demonstrate the power of implicit assumptions about gender roles in our society.
Including it here for reference: A man and his son had a terrible car accident and were rushed to the hospital. The man died on the way, but the son was still barely alive. When they arrived, a surgeon was called in to operate. Upon seeing the young boy, the surgeon said, “I can’t operate – this is my son.”
Most people have difficulty thinking of the possibility that the surgeon is the son's Mother.
This riddle strikes me as having elements of the priming experiments whereby subjects primed with certain words perform better/worse in word-stem completion tests, intermixed with the social expectations of our culture. Here the "priming" would be using the male "father", "boy", and "son" throughout the question but asking for a female "mother" as the answer.
I was trying to find results on some sort of "control group" experiment to try and isolate the societal expectations element. Something like subjects being asked the same riddle but with a mother and daughter in a crash and the father a surgeon, or where it's the father and daughter in a car crash.
The only alternative I've seen is about "mother and daughter in crash, father is nurse" which is again combining the two effects.
N.b. I'm expect the priming effect is probably small, I just wanted to know by how much.