A study into the intersection of gender, age and gender stereotypical play in young children

MacDonald, A. (2022) A study into the intersection of gender, age and gender stereotypical play in young children. Undergraduate thesis, University of Chichester.

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Abstract

The aim of this Independent Project is to investigate whether children’s play conforms to gender stereotypical expectations, and whether this changes as they get older. This research fits into the interpretivist paradigm, as it was done naturalistically. I used participant observations as my methodology, which allowed the children to interact with the researcher. The observations were carried out on two boys and two girls at each of one, two and three years old; this enabled (me to make) comparisons across gender and age-groups without depending on a single observation in each category. I coded the data and then analysed by categorising the children’s play according to the toys they interacted with and the styles of play they displayed. The principal findings from these observations were that two-year-olds showed the most gender stereotypical play and three-year-olds showed the least, in relation to the toys they chose to play with. The one-year-olds also showed gender stereotypical toy preferences though they interacted with the toys less meaningfully, mostly just by picking them up and then putting them down. The styles of play were not greatly informative but showed children’s physical play moving from exclusively physical aggression to primarily verbal as children got older. The one- and two-year-olds demonstrated higher levels of caring and sharing than their male counterparts, but the three-year-olds did not conform as much to gender stereotypes. Further research in this area would allow for stronger conclusions.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Early years, Education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1139 Early childhood education
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Education, Social and Life Sciences > Childhood
Student Research > Undergraduate
Depositing User: Michelle Farndell
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2022 11:35
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2022 11:35
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/6639

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