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Toy selection for children: Personality and toy request influences

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Abstract

We conducted two studies to determine whether college students select toys that match children's personalities and toy requests. Students (primarily Caucasian) selected toys for one child described as masculine, feminine, or gender-neutral (Study 1), or for six children with masculine, feminine, or androgynous personalities (Study 2). Students' gender-typed behaviors and traits were assessed in Study 1; egalitarian child-rearing attitudes were assessed in Study 2. Most students chose toys that were consistent with the descriptions read. Many cross-gender toys were selected for children, especially girls, with cross-gender personalities. Students with toy requests selected more cross-gender and fewer gender-typed toys than did students without requests. Students' behaviors, traits, and attitudes about what toys are appropriate for boys and girls also influenced their decisions. The ramifications of these data with regard to adult socialization practices are discussed.

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We thank Collen DiMarco and Richard Davis for their help with data collection and Burt Thompson for his statistical advise and comments on the manuscript.

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Fisher-Thompson, D., Sausa, A.D. & Wright, T.F. Toy selection for children: Personality and toy request influences. Sex Roles 33, 239–255 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01544613

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