Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This study compared the ways that teachers, parents and children classified toys according to gender categories. Fifty-eight teachers and seventy-eight parents completed a toy survey in which they were to sort a list of 49 preschool classroom toys into gender categories. The six toys most often rated masculine and the six toys most often rated feminine by the teachers were used in a toy sorting task for preschool children. Seventy-four preschool children were asked to sort pictures of the twelve toys into gender categories.
One-way analyses of variance, t-tests, and Least Significant Difference multiple comparison procedures were used to examine parents' classifications of toys, comparisons between teachers' and children's classifications of toys, and children's classifications of toys as related to sex and age.
Results indicated that there were no significant differences between teachers' and children's classifications of toys as related to sex of children. There was, however, a significant difference between teachers' and children's classifications of toys as related to age. The three-yearold children disagreed more often with the teachers' masculine and feminine ratings of the toys while the fiveyear- old children agreed more often with the teachers' masculine and feminine ratings of the toys. Analyses showed that the majority of parents classified toys into stereotypical categories of masculinity and femininity, whereas the majority of teachers classified more toys as neutral (a toy for either a boy or a girl). Data did indicate, however, that there was a substantial percentage of teachers who agreed with parents' masculine and feminine ratings of the toys. Results showed that there was not a significant disagreement between boys and girls on the masculine and feminine ratings of the toys. However, there was a difference in the way different age groups of children sorted the toys. The three-year-old children were less likely to classify the toys along stereotypical lines than were the five-year-old children.
Schneider, Linda, "A comparison of the ways that teachers, parents and preschool children classify toys into gender categories" (1994). Student Work. 311.