Sex Roles

, Volume 38, Issue 9–10, pp 685–700 | Cite as

Preschoolers' Awareness of Social Expectations of Gender: Relationships to Toy Choices

  • Tarja Raag
  • Christine L. Rackliff

Abstract

Sixty-one preschoolers (28 girls, 33 boys) whoseethnic/racial descriptions reflected local populationstatistics (one parent categorized her child as NativeAmerican and White, while 60 parents categorized their children as White) were videotaped in aplayroom. In the playroom, children had access to a toolset, and a dish set that were either presented neutrallyor as gender-typed. During subsequent interviews, a high frequency of boys reported that theirfathers would think cross-gender-typed play was“bad”. Boys' toy choices in the playroomwere the most stereotyped if boys perceived that theirfathers would think cross-gender-typed toy play was"bad", and if the boys played in a contextthat highlighted toys as gender stereotyped. Thediscussion highlights the role of social constraints(both immediate and learned) in boys' gender-typedplay.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Bray, J. H., & Maxwell, S. E. (1985). Multivariate analysis of variance. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  2. Fagot, B. I. (1977). Consequences of moderate cross-gender behavior in preschool children. Child Development, 48, 902-907.Google Scholar
  3. Fagot, B. I. (in press). Psychosocial and cognitive determinants of early gender role development. In R. C. Rosen (Ed.), Annual Review of Sex Research, 6.Google Scholar
  4. Fagot, B. I., & Hagan, R. (1991). Observations of parent reactions to sex-stereotyped behaviors: Age and sex effects. Child Development, 62, 617-628.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Fagot, B. I., & Leinbach, M. D. (1989). The young child's gender schema: Environmental input, Internal organization. Child Development, 60, 663-672.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Hartup, W. W., Moore, S. G., & Sager, G. (1963). Avoidance of inappropriate sex-typing by young children. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 27, 467-473.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Jacklin, C. N., DiPietro, J. A., & Maccoby, E. E. (1984). Sex-typing behavior and sex-typing pressure in child/parent interaction. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 13, 413-425.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Jacklin, C. N., & Maccoby, E. E. (1978). Social behavior at thirty-three months in same-sex and mixed-sex dyads. Child Development, 49, 557-569.Google Scholar
  9. Kinsman, C. A., & Berk, L. E. (1979). Joining the block and housekeeping areas: Changes in play and social behavior. Young Children, 35, 66-75.Google Scholar
  10. Langlois, J. H., & Downs, A. C. (1980). Mothers, fathers, and peers as socialization agents of sex-typed play behaviors in young children. Child Development, 51, 1217-1247.Google Scholar
  11. Lytton, H., & Romney, D. M. (1991). Parents' sex-related differential socialization of boys and girls: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 109, 267-296.Google Scholar
  12. Montemayor, R. (1974). Children's performance in a game and their attraction to it as a function of sex-typed labels. Child Development, 45, 152-156.Google Scholar
  13. Muller, R., & Goldberg, S. (1980). Why William doesn't want a doll: Preschoolers' expectations of adult behavior toward girls and boys. Merrill Palmer Quarterly, 26, 259-269.Google Scholar
  14. Roopnarine, J. L. (1986). Mothers' and fathers' behaviors toward the toy play of their infant sons and daughters. Sex Roles, 14. 59-68.Google Scholar
  15. Serbin, L. A., Conner, J. M., Burchardt, C. J., & Citron, C. C. (1979). Effects of peer presence on sex-typing of children's play. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 27, 303-309.Google Scholar
  16. Singer, D. G., & Singer, J. L. (1990). The high season of imaginative play. In D.G. Singer & J.L. Singer (eds.), The house of make-believe: Play and the developing imagination. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Trautner, H. M. (1995). Boys' and girls' play behavior in same-sex and opposite-sex pairs. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 156, 5-15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tarja Raag
  • Christine L. Rackliff

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations