Young Childrens Attitudes Towards Cross Gender Play And Toys.

1627 words - 7 pages

Young children's attitudes toward cross-gender typed toys were measured in this experiment. Due to the fact that, children are receptive to societal pressures at a young age, two experiments were conducted to test whether or not gender specific toys influenced both boys and girls.. In the first experiment conducted, children received task related gender typed information, task unrelated information, or no gender information at all. In the second experiment, however, the children were asked their opinions of cross- sex gendered play toys thus, measuring the amount of preconceived ideas held by these pre-adolescents. The results conclude that pre-adolescent boys are more likely to be influenced by gender stereotypes, as well as, by the perception of others that a toy is sex specific.1. Stereotyping Developed During Pre-Adolescence is based on Social Interactions Among Specific Age Groups and Their Perceived AffiliationsChildren, both boys and girls, appear to be aware of at a young age what is suitable behavior and expected play toys for each sex. Children rely on self-evaluative reactions (feelings one has about oneself as a consequence of behavior) in predicting gender-related behaviors ( Bussey & Bandura, 1992). It has been found that children are influenced by people's reactions to gender-typed play (Raag, 1999). Specifically, boys who perceive that social constraints are being applied to them are more likely to refrain from opposite sex-typed toy play (Raag,1999).Two studies were used to investigate whether or not children are affected by the social constraints placed on male and female toys, as well as, whether or not these ideas affected the amount of time given to each toy. Study 1 involved the observation of children interacting with supposed "male" and "female" toys. Three groups of children, ranging in age from 8-11 years old, were given different information by the experimenter as to the gender type of the toys. They were then observed in the playroom for five minutes. Because the study was designed to examine the amount of influence others have over the gender ideals of pre-adolescents in this stage of childhood, a second study was performed in order to evaluate other conclusions held by children. Study 2 assessed whether the effects of children's socially constrained perceptions about gender on toy choices really reflected the child's awareness of gender stereotypes more generally rather than an awareness of others' expectations of gender specifically by answering questions on a test.In regards to both studies, it was expected that boys' gender roles within a play domain are thought to be more rigidly defined than girls' gender roles ( Singer & Singer, 1990). Thus, one would expect boys to be more readily influenced by the supposed situational cues as to what was a "female" toy and a "male toy" (Singer & Singer, 1990). As a result, one would presume that boys are more greatly influenced than girls by the social constraints...

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