How Much Does Gender Count When Selecting Toys  Research Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Children Type: Research Paper Paper: #31839094 Related Topics: Prenatal Development, Fairy Tales, Gender Role, Gender Roles
Excerpt from Research Paper :

¶ … gender is determined through social interaction, while sex is biological. Gender-specific behaviors are usually instilled in children by their families, by their communities, and the media, according to Professor Janet Moyles (Moyles, 2012). Moyles explains that typically children accept gender stereotypes, they "identify with the stereotypical role of the gender," and sometimes children (especially boys) "punish others who exhibit cross-gender behaviors and traits" (Moyles, 65). This paper delves into the issue of gender-based reasoning and references peer-reviewed research articles that investigate gender-related attraction to toys.

Girls that have congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) who had high levels of androgen when they were in the womb indicated "increased play with boys' toys" and less play with girls' toys (Berenbaum, et al., 1992). Writing in the journal Psychological Science, the authors concluded that hormones (androgens) play a role in which toys girls play with and which toys boys play with. In other words, when females have hormone exposure in their prenatal experience that exposure ends up having a "masculinizing effect" on gender-typed toy preferences (Berenbaum, 203).


The authors studied thirty-six boys and thirty-six girls (ages two through four years of age) and observed that, in accordance with conventional wisdom, boys are more aggressive than girls in the U.S., Switzerland, Finland, Ethiopia, Brazil and elsewhere. That is not an original or unique finding, but what was interesting in this research is that boys tend to limit themselves "more than girls to gender-specific toy choices" (Collins-Standley, 1996). Girls, on the other hand, were "less bound by gender prescriptions" and more often than boys they "crossed gender lines in their choices of toys" (Collins-Standley, 2).

Research conducted by Andree Pomerleau and colleagues indicates that even when a child is only 1-year-old, they are exhibiting gender-related tendencies. In this peer-reviewed article an investigation was conducted involving sixty-five-month-old girls and boys. When various toys were placed close enough to be touched and observed, there were significant differences in their responses that contribute well to this paper's theme.

THREE: Your Observational Research Question

When brought into an environment with both boys and girls toys, will more girls than boys choose their gender role toys, or will boys choose gender toys more than girls do?

FOUR: Scientific Investigation

One question that has been raised is at what age to boys and girls begin to show their gender preferences in dolls? And how do very young girls respond to different toys than they are accustomed to as opposed to how very young boys react to toys they haven't been familiar with? This research should provide this paper with some answers insofar as which toys girls will select and which boys will select.

In the Pomerleau research, the authors suggest that even at the age of 1 year, children begin to show a preference for certain toys. The design in The Journal of Genetic Psychology placed 60-five-month-old boys and girls…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Berenbaum, S.A., and Hines, M. (1992). Early Androgens are related to Childhood Sex-

Typed Toy Preferences. Psychological Science, 3(3), 203-206.

Collins-Standley, T. (1996). Choice of romantic, violent, and scary fairy-tale books by preschool girls and boys. Child Study Journal, 26(4), 279-103.

Moyles, J. (2012). A-Z Play in Early Childhood. New York City: McGraw-Hill International.

Cite this Document:

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