Children’s Gender-Typed Activity Choices Across Preschool Social Contexts

Children’s Gender-Typed Activity Choices Across Preschool Social Contexts Variability in children’s gender-typed activity preferences was examined across several preschool social contexts--solitary play, interactions with female peers, male peers, and both, and interactions with teachers. Participants were preschool children (N = 264; 49 % girls, M age = 52 months, range 37–60) attending Head Start classes in the Southwest United States. Seventy-three percent were Mexican/Mexican-American, and 82 % of families earned less than $30,000 per year. Children’s preferences for gender-typed activities varied as a function of their own gender and the identity of their interactional partners. Girls and boys preferred gender-typed activities (e.g., girls preferred feminine activities) when in solitary play but activity preferences changed across social contexts. Specifically, girls played significantly more with masculine activities when with male peers and boys played significantly more with feminine activities during interactions with teachers. Findings suggest that through social interactions with peers and teachers, children are exposed to a greater range of activities than what they experience when they play by themselves. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Children’s Gender-Typed Activity Choices Across Preschool Social Contexts

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Medicine/Public Health, general; Sociology, general; Gender Studies
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-012-0176-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Variability in children’s gender-typed activity preferences was examined across several preschool social contexts--solitary play, interactions with female peers, male peers, and both, and interactions with teachers. Participants were preschool children (N = 264; 49 % girls, M age = 52 months, range 37–60) attending Head Start classes in the Southwest United States. Seventy-three percent were Mexican/Mexican-American, and 82 % of families earned less than $30,000 per year. Children’s preferences for gender-typed activities varied as a function of their own gender and the identity of their interactional partners. Girls and boys preferred gender-typed activities (e.g., girls preferred feminine activities) when in solitary play but activity preferences changed across social contexts. Specifically, girls played significantly more with masculine activities when with male peers and boys played significantly more with feminine activities during interactions with teachers. Findings suggest that through social interactions with peers and teachers, children are exposed to a greater range of activities than what they experience when they play by themselves.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: May 30, 2012

References

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