Analysis of the Presence of Gender-Typed Play in a Solitary Play Setting.
For boys and girls playing alone, I hypothesized that their play would be gender-typed (e.g. masculine for males). To determine this I found the percentages for each type of play the child engaged in when alone.
Female. Twelve counts of female solitary play were observed. Only 33% of these were gender-typical (feminine) in nature, which is unexpected. More-over, 42% of this activity was gender-atypical (masculine) in nature. This leaves 25% of the solitary play activity of females to be gender neutral activities. While there was not a significant difference between the amount of gender-typical activity and gender-atypical activity, it was still surprising to find that gender-atypical activity occurred at a higher rate.
Male. Thirteen counts of male solitary play were observed. Of these, 31% were gender-typical (masculine). This is also not what was expected. Boys, however, only participated in gender-atypical (feminine) activities 15% of the time, which, while not explicitly predicted, was not surprising. Gender-neutral activity for boys while playing alone saw the highest rate, with 54% of their activity falling in this category.
Across both genders there were 25 counts of solitary play. Thirty-two percent of these were gender-typical. Gender-atypical play participation accounted for 28% of the total counts. Forty percent of solitary play across genders was gender-neutral in nature. A ...
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...of data I collected is not likely to be representative of preschool children as whole, which is why my findings, with these limitations, show something different than what past research has found. Future research should aim to have a much larger sample size.
In conclusion, this study aimed to determine the rate at which preschool children engaged in gender-typed play in various social settings. Inconsistent with previous research I found that when solitary, children did not engage in their respective gender-typical activities. This likely occurred due to having a small sample size. In mixed gender group settings, however, I did see an increase in gender-neutral play which is consistent with previous research. This data shows that flexibility that these children show in their play choices provides them with new experiences that could foster their intellectual growth.
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