Gender differences in play behavior are well documented. However, little work has examined the issue of variability of gender-typed behaviors within individuals or within genders. We investigated whether children's gender-typed toy play behavior is (a) variable across time within individuals, and (b) variable in response to exposure to counterstereotypic models. Extensive observations (N=203) were made of 8 highly gender-typed preschool children over 4 months. Variability was assessed by examining changes in the percentage of masculine and feminine toy play across successive days in which (a) gender neutral stories were read (within-individual variability) and (b) gender counterstereotypic stories were introduced (environmental variability). Variability of gender-typed play within individuals and in response to environmental stimuli was found among girls, but not among boys.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 14, 2004
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