, Volume 15, Issue 1-2, pp 21-32

The gender-stereotyped nature of christmas toys received by 36-, 48-, and 60-month-old children: A comparison between nonrequested vs requested toys

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Abstract

This research provides normative information on the gender-stereotyped nature of Christmas toys that children received from their parents. A list of over 500 toys was obtained from the parents of 86 children between the ages of 31 and 65 months. The toys were rated and placed into gender-stereotyped groups, and were categorized into child requested or nonrequested groups. It was found that the children had considerable input into the types of toys they received from their parents for Christmas, requesting approximately one half of the toys. Toys the children requested were judged to be more gender stereotyped than nonrequested toys. Very few boys received either requested or nonrequested toys considered stereotyped for the opposite sex. In contrast, one third of the girls received at least one toy judged to be stereotyped for the opposite sex. Also, boys appeared to develop sex-typed interests in toys at an earlier age than girls, and they requested 72%, 76%, and 75% gender-stereotyped toys in the corresponding age groups of 36-, 48-, and 60-months. The girls' sex-typed interests in toys lagged behind the boys', with girls requesting 29%, 51%, and 73% gender-stereotyped toys for the same age groups. In the nonrequested condition, parents selected types of toys judged to be traditionally more sex role neutral and emphasized musical instruments, art supplies, and educational toys for their sons and educational toys for their daughters.