There were six wheeled toys and there were: The toys varied in size, color and shape. The results of their study found that there was a significant interaction between toy type and sex. Males preferred wheeled toys over plush toys and females showed no preference. Males interacted less with the plush toys than the females did. Male and female monkeys interacted with wheeled toys the same and showed no sex differences. Only male monkeys showed a preference for one toy over another type while female monkeys did not show a preference.
They brought in 48 children aged from 24 months to 72 months, 24 girls and 24 boys. Each of the 48 children played with three different types of adults, their own parents, parents of other children or adults that were not parents. The children played in a group that had one parent, one other parent and one nonparent. There were fifteen toys available that ranged from feminine, masculine and gender-neutral.
Feminine toys were a baby doll, a kitchen set, a telephone, a soft doll and a doll house. Masculine toys were a train, a dump truck, a multicolored basketball, a gas station set and a tool set. The gender-neutral toys were an alphabet and color matching puzzle, a stuffed teddy bear, PlayDoh, blocks and Dr.
Seuss' Cat in the Hat book. After the play session the adults had to complete two questionnaires. The Toy Desirability Scale was a 7-point scale that made the adults evaluate the toys with respect to desirability for play.
For this scale the 1 represented a very undesirable toy and the 7 represented a very desirable toy. The Gender Sorting Task required adults to categorize the toys into one of the three categories, masculine, feminine or neutral. The toy was given a one if it matched with traditional gender assignment, a zero if the toy was not placed in a traditional gender assignment. A score of five meant that there was a complete agreement that the traditional gender category and a score of zero meant that there was complete disagreement with traditional gender category assignment.
Boys spent the majority of time playing with masculine toys. Girls played with both toys and it showed that there is flexibility in toy play for girls rather than boys who are constrained to playing with masculine toys when playing with adults. Wood, Desmarais and Gugula stated that adults act in similar ways regardless of their parenting experience. This shows that adults view that masculine toys belong with boys no matter the parenting experience behind them or if they are even the child's parent.
This shows that it is a wide range view on how toys are categorized based on gender and the desirability for play with adults and that whether they have children or not does not change the view. Martin, Eisenbud and Rose looked into how preschool children use gender-based reasoning when making decisions about toy preferences for themselves and other children as well. The studies look into gender-based reasoning when the children were asked to make judgments about their own and others toy preferences.
The findings from the studies found that children use both gender labels and gender-based matching as ways of making decisions. They found that gender labels provide children with cues that can influence their own desires along with expectations about others.
Martin, Eisenbud and Rose stated that children relax their standards when they are making decisions about their own toy preference. Children liked toys less when it was labeled to be for the other sex and they expected the other children to do the same and with this they were using gender labels. Children also felt that what they liked the children of their same gender will like as well and are using gender-based inferences.
The girls and boys in this study were tested for their preferences for photos of vehicles or dolls and whether they associated these with faces and voices of males or female children.
The results of this study showed that girls at eighteen months of age were able to associate the gender stereotyped toys with the faces of girls and boys but the boys were not. Idle, Wood and Desmarais They wanted to look at whether parents differentially select toys as a function of the gender of the child, whether parents select toys based on their own perception of the gender-appropriate value of the toy , whether parents' choice of toys and duration of play relates to their perceptions of the toys' desirability, whether children will be more likely to enjoy same-gender toys as opposed to cross-gender toys, and lastly whether there were differences in the roles mothers and fathers play in the gender typing of toy play.
A lot was looked at in this study because it a lot of research was done on this before but the researchers wanted to look into it with just the parents and child. The results showed that there was no significant differences in the selection of toys but parents did tend to select feminine toys less often than masculine or neutral toys for the girls and boys. The results showed no significant differences in children's reactions to the toys on the gender-appropriate categories.
Fathers ranked high desirability for masculine toys for their sons and low desirability for feminine toys for their sons. Mothers seemed to follow a similar trend with their sons as the fathers did. For the girls the parents rated neutral toys as most favorable and the masculine toys as least favorable. Freeman had three year olds and five year olds and they identified girl toys and boy toys and the children also had to predict their parents reactions to their choices.
For five year olds the results showed that the children separated the toys more stereotypically. Both five and three year olds thought their opposite sex parent would be more accepting of the cross-gender choices. When researchers looked at the parents rating of how they would approve of cross-gender play it was shown that the kids were a lot harder on themselves and wrong.
Parents actually were more approving of cross-gender play than the children predicted. This shows that children are harder on themselves and feel like the parents would not approve of cross-gender play when in reality parents are saying they would. Mercurio wanted to bring attention to the idea that boys have more problems in their teen years because of problems in the area of handling emotions early in childhood.
In the article Mercurio stats that as soon as age three, teachers state that boys are more troublesome than girls. Adults can miss opportunities to help boys grow up emotionally stable and they should acknowledge gender differences and strive to provide the best environment. This even though it is not completely about toys does fit and makes a good point. Boys have trouble early on in childhood and in childhood children play with toys and what they see relating to toys and gender roles. Commercials and television shows can be where children may get ideas about gender-specific toys along with their parents.
Commercials can also be where children may be getting views about gender roles as well. Television companies even want to make money off of gender toys and commercials. Kahlenberg and Hein did a content analysis on a very popular children's network Nickelodeon looking at gender-role stereotypes in toy commercials during after school hours.
This study looked at toy commercials and they were analyzed for the type of toy in the commercial, number of boys and girls in the commercial, the gender being portrayed in the commercial, the gender orientation, the age of the children in the commercial, the type of interaction between the children in the commercial, the setting and color of the setting.
The results of the study done showed that There were more girls than boys in the commercials. Boys were more likely to be shown outdoors and playing competitive than girls were. The commercials were adding to the gender specific toys and were showing what girls and boys should play with and how girls and boys should behave and play. The commercials were just showing what we already know but real change could be done if someone took a risk and allowed a boy to play with feminine toys and vice versa.
It would show boys that they can play with dolls and it will be okay and they will not be a sissy for doing so. Grant had a very impactful article. It mentioned about how the stigmatize of boys being boys or a sissy came into view and the times it came about. The pink and blue custom of dressing infants came about in the s and it was a way to make it visible the significance of gender. In the article by Grant there is a three year old named Tom had a father and clinic personnel that labeled the child as a sissy and as a result the father would bully the child trying to make him more of a man.
Tom was timid and it evoked anger in his father and experts were determined to wean him from his babyish ways. This makes me so mad. A boy is timid and he was bullied and physically harmed because his father considered him not a boy but a sissy. This was in the s but it still makes me mad to know that this little boy was being bullied all because he wasn't acting like a boy.
How should a boy act? What is a boy supposed to act like? Looking at all of this research above I see a pattern for a lot of it. Boys are looked at more and adults are more likely to want boys to play with what is considered masculine toys rather than gender-neutral or feminine toys. Results above also show that even in commercials boys are shown to be outside and playing more boyish and with masculine toys than girls.
Boys are shown as being more masculine in commercials and playing with more masculine toys and doing more masculine things. Results are showing that parents like the boys to play with more masculine toys but with girls they don't seem to really care and gender-neutral is a favorable toy for girls. The research above is showing that parents do have an effect on the way children grow up and few gender stereotypes.
Telling boys to play with boy toys and not really caring about what a girl plays with is bias. Freeman mentions that at about 24 months children begin to define themselves as girls or boys. By about age five children are apt to have rigid definitions of how girls and boys should behave. With the research findings from Freeman and that parents said they would put their boys in ballet and buy them a doll and that they would not be upset if their girls wanted to play little league, it shows a big change.
In the earlier years of the research mentioned above you can see more of a bias but slowly as the time is moving farther along things are changing. There is still some bias but there is change and that it is okay for girls to play with boys toys and vice versa.
Mercurio made a big point about boys having more trouble in teen years and adulthood and that this can lead to drinking and drugs because of problems with the boys early childhood emotional stability. Toys and being able to play with what you want can be an emotional moment for a young child.
Using punishment or harshness when telling boys what to do and possibly even taking the toys away like some parents might do can be a emotionally damaging problem for a child. Letting boys play with dolls and what is considered feminine toys can help boys become more in touch with their emotions and feelings and this could help reduce the trouble in boys later in life.
Above all with all the research above I am seeing that girls are not really being as stereotyped or stigmatized when it comes to toys. I am seeing that girls can play with pretty much whatever they want and not face any type of stigmatism or anything while boys are being shown to play with masculine toys and that parents even favor their child playing with masculine toys.
I learned a lot with all the research above. I learned that things have been changing slowly. I have learned that kids are harder on themselves than they need to be. I have learned that boys have harder views on what their fathers will approve of than their mothers. I learned that parents actually are more understanding than some would think.
I learned that besides boys being more troubled in their teen years and this being a result of early childhood emotion problems which could result from not showing emotions with toys, that I didn't see or read an effect. I did not read about the toys having an effect on the children. I have learned that television commercials are a horrible part of stigmatizing gender on toys and showing children at young age that there are differences in gender and how gender is viewed in the world. I learned that by age five children know how girls and boys should behave, I was a little shocked it was so young because I felt like it would be older so they knew more.
I learned that by eighteen months children can view toys with the face of the gender that toy belongs too. Children at eighteen months of age can view gendered toys. This was shocking to me because at eighteen months I would consider a child playing with all toys and not knowing or caring about gender but I was wrong and I learned that gender is learned even earlier than I ever thought it was.
I learned that the toys that are being considered gender-specific is shocking. I never would have thought that plush toys could be considered feminine. I never would have considered Lego's to be neutral. I would have surely considered building objects to be more masculine and for a boy. I was just upset at learning how the toys were categorized. Kitchen sets being for a girl was something I thought should have been neutral because a lot of boys love to cook.
I am shocked at learning how the toys were put into categories. I learned a lot from the article by Grant I did not know the custom of dressing babies in pink or blue came about in the s and was popular in s.
I learned that children who were timid were considered to be a sissy and not a real boy. I know some families that still do this if their son is acting too timid and it makes me mad because a boy can act in many different ways and still be a boy.
I learned that gender specific toys is what the world views that the gendered child should play with and that the children have picked up on that. I learned that the gender-specific toys are just toys and it seems like parents are okay with what their child wants to play but that doesn't mean all parents will be that way and that doesn't mean all children will get to play with what they want.
I learned that overall the parents just want their children, boys or girls to be happy for the most part. This quote is something I feel like fits with the overall research above and with what I learned and how all parents and family member of child should feel and how a lot might already feel. Children being happy is the most important thing regardless of the toys they want to play with. All the research and reading above, I learned a lot and I had a lot of emotions.
I learned that children are harder on themselves about approval for cross-gender play. I learned that children can tell gender toy type by eighteen months. I learned that children know gender and what they should be doing and how to behave based on their gender by age five. I did learn that they help children learn and view gender at a young age. I learned that parents are approving of their child doing cross-gender play.
Parents want their children happy. I did not learn about any effects that gender-specific toys can have on a child. I did not learn that gender-specific toys can harm children in any way. Only thing that might be related to an effect is that teen boys are more troublesome and it comes from having problem with emotions in early childhood which could result from not being able to stabilize their emotions with toy play.
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