How gender-based reasoning of children about toys affects their gender stereotype perception of life for both boys and girls

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Cultural Studies

Document 1

The goal of this study is to investigate how gender-based reasoning of children about toys affects their gender stereotype perception of life for both boys and girls. Paper 1 and paper 2 depicts of how gender stereotype is being represented for infants (boys and girls). In Paper 1 stereotype situation is represented where the cards contain pictures and messages that depicts a specific gender, in most cases being the girl child while in paper 2 gender stereotype is represented by the choice of toys by both genders (boys and girls). These situations create an explicit gender-stereotypic perception which in affects children thinking and behaviors in life. A research study done by Miller (1987) and Campenni (1999) states that in most cases children prefer toys, movies and video games that are directly related and deemed to be appropriate in accordance to their gender since most of the toys are differentiated in respect to sex.

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Girls prefer toys that are stereotype for feminine sex more than unfeminine stereotyped toys and vice versa for boy child. Preferences for toys according to gender type has been perceptible in children’s play research studies (Hite, Murray & Eisenberg, 1982) (Wasserman, Stork, Kosson, ohnson & Fein, 1975) ( Keller, Smith & Goldman, 1982) in which children select their favorite toys for others or for themselves (Bradbard, 1985; Parkman & Bradbard, 1983; Goldman et al. ,1982; Morris & Robinson, 1982; Ross &Ross, 1972). A study done by Bern (1975), clearly stated that the result of letting children choose their own-gender-stereotype toys tends to limit their skills and knowledge. Also, research by Connor & Serbm, (1977); O Brien & Huston (1983); Serbm & Gonnor (1979) states that different type of learning and play can be enhanced by choosing different types of toys. children behaviors have greatly affected the studies that has been done about gender preferences on toys, this is due to the influence of gender labels.

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The problem comes where the children have a great history and prior knowledge of the familiarity of the toys thus influencing their gender behavior instead of the gender labels. This leads to the use of novel objects given a specific label according to the sex-type. Novel label is best since they are not identified with a specific sex thus it will be hard for children to identify they in reference to their past experience and knowledge (Bradbard & Endsley, 1983). Toy labeling in accordance to gender (for boys or for girls) tends to impact children behavior differently. This results to an egocentric pattern where they make decision using their own opinion of how attractive a toy may look. This is the only criteria used in this scenario.

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This can also be reason as; "I like this toy (because it is attractive); therefore, other girls and other boys also would like this toy. " Gender-centric or gender-based pattern suggest that children make their decision based on their likes about a toy and the believes about other boys and girls think about the toy. Illustration; a boy might reason, “I like this toy (because of its looks); therefor other boys will like it and other girls will not like it” this is shown in figure 1. For instance, after being taught a novel characteristic about boys, children assume that an unfamiliar boy also will have the characteristic, even if he doesn't look like the other Boys” Conclusion This paper A examines three studies.

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The first two examines the reasoning of children about toys which had no gender-novel-labels which tend to provide more information on the sex type of the toy. The children were to make judgement on how they can choose from the variety of toys and hoe their choices influenced the choice made by others. Children with gender-based-knowledge were making judgment based on a common essence which were similar according to their categories. The other study tends to explain knowledge on gender influence. The use of explicit gender label tends to help guiding children on their preferences and their expectations concerning other children preferences thus leading to other more attractive toys, cartoons, movies and video games lose value when they are being considered to be of the other sex.

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The use of explicit gender-based reasoning in this way can unintentionally lead to limiting to children and others in their level of experience. Work Cited Bem, S. L. Sex role adaptability: One consequence of psychological androgyny. Biernat, M. Gender stereotypes and the relationship between masculinity and femininity: A developmental analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 351-365. Bradbard, M. R. , Martin, C. L. , Endsley, R. C. , & Halverson, C. , & Serbin, L. A. Behaviorally based masculine- and feminine activity preference scales for preschoolers: Correlates with other classroom behaviors and cognitive tests. Child Development, 48, 1411-1416. Eisenberg, N. , Kosson, N. , Stork, L. , & Wasserman, L. Sex stereotypes and preferences in the toy choices of 20-monthold boys and girls. Developmental Psychology , 11, 527-528. Gelman, S. A. , CoUman, P.

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