Sex Roles

, Volume 23, Issue 5–6, pp 291–303 | Cite as

Adult sex typing of children's toys

  • Donna Fisher-Thompson


A primary focus of this study was to determine whether adults use traditional sex-type standards when choosing toys for boys or girls. I also investigated whether an adult's sex or gender role influences this decision. College students were shown pictures of 74 toys, and were asked to indicate whether they would buy each toy for a boy or girl. Traditional sex-type ratings were found. In addition, male subjects sex-typed toys to a greater extent than female subjects. Subjects' gender role was unrelated to sex-type ratings. Subjects also judged whether each toy provided educational value, required activity, and encouraged cooperation. Toys rated as requiring activity were not considered educational, but many toys considered educational were also rated as encouraging cooperation. In addition, toys considered masculine were rated as requiring more activity than feminine toys.


College Student Social Psychology Gender Role Male Subject Female Subject 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna Fisher-Thompson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNiagara University

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