A Visit to the Toy Store
Children’s play constitutes an important arena in which beliefs are developed at a very young age about the appropriateness of certain behaviors for the two sexes. The purpose of this assignment is to make you aware of an important aspect of gender-role socialization, namely the presence of gender-role stereotyping in children’s toys.
Part I: Search in a data base of professional journals of psychology and find a research study (experimental or correlational) that has examined the effect of toys on gender stereotyping or the relationship between gender stereotypes and toys. Summarize the research study in a paragraph or two and provide the APA reference for the study.
Part II: Visit a toy store that has a relatively wide range of toys. Survey the toys and make observations that will enable you to respond to the following questions:
1) Was it common that boys’ and girls’ toys were related to adult roles (and therefore serve as vehicles of gender-role stereotyping)? Explain the “what” and the “how”.
2) Was there subtle gender-role stereotyping apparent in the placement of toys (e.g., were tea sets placed near dolls and microscopes placed near trucks)? [Please do not repeat this example in your report.]
3) Did gender-role stereotyping occur more often in toys for a particular age range?
4) Were there many gender-neutral toys relative to the number of boys’ and girls’ toys?
5) What were the two most common themes among boys’ toys?
6) What were the two most common themes among girls’ toys?
7) Explain if and how any of your observations in the toy store relate to the study and/or results reported in the article you summarized for Part I.
Your answer must provide evidence to support your reasoning. Avoid quoting, and if you must do so, limit your use of direct quotes from the text. Your response must be a cohesive essay, with a beginning, a middle, and a conclusion. The questions above may guide your response, but your answer must be an essay, not a list of questions with “Yes” or “No” or short-phrase answers.