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Sex-Typing Behavior and Sex-Typing Pressure in Child/Parent Interaction

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Abstract

The sex-typing of children and the sex-typing pressure of parents was investigated during free play in a home visit. There were 30 male and 24 female 45-month-olds observed with their mothers and fathers in separate free-play sessions during which an array of both sex-stereotyped and neutral toys were available. Behavioral observations were recorded for a variety of parent, child, and dyadic behaviors, including initiations of sex-typed play, total sex-typed play, and rough-and-tumble play. Children initiated sex-typed play and played with sex-appropriate toys. Father-child and mother-daughter dyads were more likely to engage in thematic play appropriate to the child's sex, while in mother-son dyads equal amounts of masculine and feminine play occurred. In addition father-son dyads displayed the highest levels of rough-and tumble play and arousal of child by parent. The results suggest that fathers are the discriminating influence on sex-appropriate play.
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... To date, no study has investigated the gender-typed play of children born through surrogacy in families headed by gay men. Insofar as fathers and mothers socialize their children differently regarding gender 12,27,28 and parents' attitudes toward toys and gender play likely influence children's preferences 2 (e.g., because of parents' purchasing more same-gender-typed toys than gender-neutral or cross-gender-typed toys for their children 29 ), children born to GFs through surrogacy may display different pathways of gender development relative to children of LMs or HPs. In the same vein, earlier studies with LMs through sperm donation or adoptive gay and lesbian parents have mainly been conducted in the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom, [16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25] which are very different sociocultural contexts from Italy regarding the paths to parenthood available to gay and lesbian couples. ...
... By the same token, GFs, in particular (as parents who contrast most with norms relating to gender, as well as given their multi-minority status as both gay and male in the HP community and fathers in the gay community 8,9 ), may be less interested in challenging gendered norms and thus less likely to initiate and reinforce cross-gendered play relative to LMs and HPs. 25 In addition, emphasizing the role of modeling, social learning theory 32 enables researchers to consider how the absence of a same-sex parent in the household may affect gender development. Because gay, lesbian, and heterosexual parents may hold different views on what constitutes acceptable parenthood or gendered behavior, 12,27,28 their children may show different gender-typed behavior. This effect may be further moderated such that children who grow up in homes without a parent of their own gender may be less gender-typed because they lack a same-sex model. ...
... From this perspective, having 2 fathers and no mother might have exposed boys in GF families to only male role models and higher levels of the rough-and-tumble play that is typically initiated by fathers. 12,27,28 This might have resulted in their development of more masculine play preferences and activities. Because boys of GFs received similar scores as children of HPs across all gender measures, our findings support the role of male modeling on male child gender development. ...
Article
Objective: To examine whether the gender development of 120 Italian children (40 born to gay fathers [GFs] through surrogacy, 40 born to lesbian mothers [LMs] through sperm donation, and 40 born to heterosexual parents [HPs] through sexual intercourse) aged 3 to 9 years differed as a function of family type and/or child gender. Methods: Children took part in observed free-play sessions while primary caregivers and nonparent caregivers were administered standardized interviews. Hierarchical linear modeling, analysis of covariance, simple effects analysis, and bootstrapping were conducted. Results: Boys and girls of GFs and HPs were reported to show less gender flexibility in their activities and characteristics than boys and girls of LMs. They also received higher scores of gender conforming dress-up play and spent more time playing with gender-conforming toys. In all family types, boys and girls were reported to show low levels of gender-nonconforming dress-up play and observed to spend less time playing with gender-nonconforming toys. Overall, comparisons within genders indicated that boys and girls of GFs and HPs were considered more masculine and feminine, respectively, in their behavior and play, relative to boys and girls in LM families. Age was not a significant covariate in any analysis. Conclusion: Our findings do not support the idea that children of gay or lesbian parents show greater gender nonconformity relative to children of HPs. The findings are informative to those concerned with the effects of the absence of a male or female live-in parent on child gender development.
... A qualitative study assessing how parents think about fathers' rough-andtumble play (StGeorge et al., 2018) found that although fathers believe this type of play should occur equally with girls and boys, in reality, it does not, with some justifying that girls are more delicate and, as such, they should play more gender-appropriate games. Alternatively, some studies (Jacklin et al., 1984) suggest that girls incite less of this type of play from their fathers. ...
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... Babanın bebekle ilişkisinde görülen bu davranış örüntüleri daha büyük çocukla ilişkisinde de görülmektedir. Baba, oğluyla daha fazla fiziksel oyunlar oynamakta (Dipietro, Jaclin ve Maccoby, 1984), onu daha çok yönlendirmekte, ona daha çok bilişsel girdi ve fonksiyonel bilgi sağlamaktadır (Bellinger, 1982). Bu durum, tarafından babaların erkek çocuğunun cinsel kimlik gelişimi için özel bir sorumluluk hissetmesi ve benzer etkinlik ve ortak zevklere ilişkin daha geniş bir repertuara sahip olmasıyla açıklanmaktadır. ...
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... A vast majority of gender socialization studies based on social learning perspectives has focused on mothers' actual behaviors. This research examined how mothers more directly engage with their sons and daughters along gender-typed lines-for example by offering gender-typical, and not gender-atypical, toys to their children during play (Jacklin et al. 1984) or by assigning traditionally masculine household chores like mowing the lawn to sons and traditionally feminine tasks like childcare to daughters (Gaskins 2015;Grusec et al. 1996). Often, reviews and meta-analyses of these studies found more similarities than differences in how mothers treat their sons in comparison to their daughters (Endendijk et al. 2016;Lytton and Romney 1991;McHale et al. 2003), resulting in questions about whether there are any "real" differences in how most mothers shape children's experiences by gender. ...
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We examined mothers’ beliefs about gender-typed values and activities and their associations with the academic skills (i.e., math and reading/language arts) and engagement (i.e., emotional engagement in school) of their adolescent children (13–15 years-old) in a U.S. sample of Black, Chinese American, Latinx, and White families (n = 158). Mothers were more likely to endorse gender-typed activities (e.g., “Boys shouldn’t play with dolls”) than gender-typed values (e.g., “Men should make the important decisions in the family”). We found that Chinese American and Latina mothers endorsed more traditional gender-typed beliefs than Black mothers, who endorsed more traditional beliefs than White mothers. Adjusting for race/ethnicity and prior academic outcomes, mothers’ endorsement of gender-typed values was associated with lower emotional engagement in school for male adolescents. In addition, adjusting for race/ethnicity and prior academic outcomes, mothers’ endorsement of gender-typed activities was associated with lower math grades for female adolescents, lower emotional engagement in school for young men, and higher emotional engagement in school for young women. Mothers’ endorsement of gender-typed values and activities was not associated with reading/language arts grades for either male or female adolescents. Our findings have important implications for understanding the processes through which mothers’ gender attitudes may be conveyed and enacted in adolescents’ behavior within the school setting.
... The question is why boys reveal more responsiveness than girls to parents' Math Extension (both fathers and mothers). Earlier studies have already shown that from a very early age, parents' interactions are affected, both implicitly and explicitly, by the child's gender (e.g., Fennema et al., 1998;Jacklin, DiPietro, & Maccoby, 1984;Lytton & Romney, 1991). In general, it was reported that parents tend to play physical games based on motor abilities with boys, whereas they provide more visual and verbal stimulation with girls (e.g., Clarke-Stewart, 1993;Klein, 1984;Moss, 1976;Rebelsky & Hanks, 1971). ...
Article
The main objectives of this study were to construct a conceptual model of parent–child math discourse strategies (MDS) and explore (a) the differences betweenmother's and father's MDS with their children, (b) the relations between parents' MDS and children's responses, and (c) the relations between parent–child MDS and children's math performance. A sample of 56 father–child and mother–child dyads were videotaped while interacting in math-related problems followed by arithmetic problems test administered to children. The interactions were rated by the Observation of Mathematical Discourse Scale developed for the current study. The findings indicate that fathers showed higher Mathematical Extension than mothers. Mathematical Language and Regulation strategies correlated with children's responsiveness. Mathematical Extension was significantly higher for father–boy than for father–girl and higher for mother–boy than for mother–girl. Children's math ability was positively correlated only with fathers' Regulation. The findings were explained in relation to theory and previous findings.
... tea sets, cooking), whereas males tend to engage more with vehicles and construction toys. These differences have been found in eye-tracking studies (Alexander, Wilcox, & Woods, 2009;Alexander & Charles, 2008;Harrop et al., 2018), preferential looking paradigms (Jadva, Hines, & Golombok, 2010) and during free play sessions (Caldera, Huston, & O'Brien, 1989;Harrop, Green, & Hudry, 2017;Hines & Kaufman, 1994;Jacklin, DiPietro, & Maccoby, 1984;Todd et al., 2018), and are theorized to reflect a combination of biological and social influences on development. Specifically, they are presumed to reflect the intersection between biological sex and socially constructed gender norms and expectations that are impressed upon infants and toddlers. ...
Article
Emerging research suggests social attention in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) girls is enhanced relative to ASD boys but may also be affected by the type of social and nonsocial content presented. This study examined how biological sex and gender norms interact to influence visual attention in 79 school-aged children observing scenes that included gender-associated toys and actors of both sexes. Attention to social (faces) and object activity (hands with toys) stimuli was measured. Previously described distinctions between social attention in ASD boys and girls were replicated, with ASD girls looking more at faces than ASD boys. Irrespective of diagnosis, males and females attended more to actors that shared their same sex, and attended more to toys with gender-associations that were consistent with their own sex, suggesting that social and object salience increases for children under sex-consistent conditions. Importantly, ASD and typically developing (TD) children increased their gaze to faces when male actors were shown playing with female-associated toys, suggesting that both groups of children are sensitive to societal messages about the acceptability of males playing with female-associated toys. Our findings provide further evidence of heightened attention to faces in ASD girls relative to ASD boys, and indicate that social attention in ASD and TD children is influenced by who (male or female actor) and what (male- or female-associated toy) is being observed. Collectively, these results present a nuanced profile of attention in ASD that adds to a growing body of research indicating subtle phenotypic differences in ASD girls that may impact identification, assessment, and intervention. Autism Res 2019. © 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: Sex differences observed in typical development may also be present in individuals with autism. In this study, we developed an eye-tracking paradigm featuring videos of boys and girls playing with toys that varied in their gender associations. Attention to faces differed between autistic and non-autistic children but was also influenced by the sex of the actor and gender-association of toys. Autistic females demonstrated subtle attention differences that distinguished them from autistic males and may influence referral, diagnosis, and intervention.
... Furthermore, fathers, mothers, male and female educators adapt their behavior when interacting with boys or girls to the child's gender. For example, fathers engage in more physical and active play [40,41] and are more unpredictable [42] with their sons than with daughters [43,44]. In turn, mothers promote more symbolic play [45,46] and are more emotionally available with their daughters [47]. ...
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nvolving children in collaborative tasks supports their cognitive, motor and social development. This study, performed in Portugal, aims to describe and compare early childhood educators and parents regarding their collaborative and interactive behavior when working with children. For that purpose, 55 educators (of both genders) with a child from their class and 45 parents (of both genders) with their children, participated in an everyday-like quasi-experimental situation for 20 minutes. The participants were invited to build an object of their choice, using a range of available materials and tools. The children included 47 boys and 48 girls, between 3 and 5 year-old. In comparison with the parents, the educators encouraged the children more to explore and find their own solutions. Conversely, the parents helped their children by offering demonstrations and directions. When the educators and the parents were grouped by gender (“men” versus “women”), different opportunities were offered to boys and girls by male and female adults. Our study suggests that educators and parents serve as diverse, but complementary educational role models and provide different learning opportunities.
Book
Gender is a highly salient and important social group that shapes how children interact with others and how they are treated by others. In this Element, we offer an overview and review of the research on gender development in childhood from a developmental science perspective. We first define gender and the related concepts of sex and gender identity. Second, we discuss how variations in cultural context shape gender development around the world and how variations within gender groups add to the complexity of gender identity development. Third, we discuss major theoretical perspectives in developmental science for studying child gender. Fourth, we examine differences and similarities between girls and boys using the latest meta-analytic evidence. Fifth, we discuss the development of gender, gender identity, and gender socialization throughout infancy, early childhood, and middle childhood. We conclude with a discussion of future directions for the study of gender development in childhood.
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Parent-child play interactions in the first years of life are linked to more positive cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes for children. The vast majority of previous research has focussed on mother-infant play interactions, but the potential positive role of fathers’ early involvement in children’s lives is being increasingly recognised, with higher levels of caregiving by fathers in many countries. To characterise the nature and potential impact of father-child play we undertook a systematic review of the published literature in psychological and educational databases up until 2018. We focussed on studies addressing the frequency and characteristics of fathers’ play with children (aged 0–3 years), and the potential impact on children’s development. We screened 436 articles, yielding 78 papers addressing the questions of interest. There are 3 key findings. First, fathers spend a significant proportion of their time with their children engaging in playful interactions, often in the form of physical play such as rough and tumble. Second, whilst findings are mixed, on balance the evidence suggests that fathers’ play frequency increases from infancy to preschool age with a subsequent decline in play as children reach early- middle childhood. Third, studies investigating links between fathers’ play and child outcomes suggest that fathers’ play in the early years can positively contribute to children’s social, emotional and cognitive outcomes. This potential for substantial benefit for children provides a clear imperative for policy makers and practitioners to facilitate and support fathers, as well as mothers, in developing more positive and playful interactions with their infants.
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Differential reward and punishment of 3- and 5-year-old girls' and boys' sex-typed behaviors were examined using a laboratory analog of a natural play context. In study 1, mothers' and peers' reactions to sex-appropriate and sex-inappropriate play were observed. Fathers' reactions were assessed in study 2. Mothers used more reward for their children's play than did peers, while peers used more punishment than mothers. Both mothers and peers differentially rewarded and punished girls' sex-typed play, but boys received only differential punishment from peers. Fathers were generally more rewarding to girls and to 3-year-olds and more punishing to boys and to 5-year-olds. Moreover, fathers differentially rewarded play with same-sex toys and punished play with cross-sex toys for both sons and daughters. Implications for social learning and reciprocal-role theories of sex-role development are explored and a social network perspective emphasizing the complementary roles of mothers, fathers, and peers in children's social development is discussed.
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As part of a longitudinal study, 164 children aged 8 or 9 were videotaped during a free-play session. Boys were more active and aggressive in their play, girls more sedentary and nurturant. In addition, girls were more prone to self-grooming behavior. There was no support for the hypothesis that children who play with boys' toys have a close relationship with their fathers. Rather, it was the relationship with the mother that determined the extent of sex coding in children's play choices. Cross-sex play, that is, play with toys usually favored by the opposite sex, was found to be more common among children who came from single-sex families, lending support to the idea of role diversification. In a second experiment, these same children returned to the toy room accompanied by a parent. Results showed very little change in toy choice from the first session to the second; children tended to persist in playing with their favorite toys despite the presence of a parent. In general, family constellation, particularly sex of siblings, turned out to be the dominant factor in determining whether children play with toys usually favored by their own sex or expand their play to include toys more often chosen by the opposite sex.
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Analyzed the immediate reactions of parents to a taped version of a child's demands for attention, help, and comfort and his displays of anger, insolence, aggression, etc. This procedure, seen as a valuable substitute for actual observation of parent * child interaction, was used with 73 english canadian (ec) and french canadian (fc) working-class parents of 6 yr. Olds. Various value orientations, some culturally distinctive, others cross-culturally common, were revealed, E.g., ec mothers played the more dominant socialization role in the ec family and fc fathers in the fc family. However, both ec and fc parents agreed in general on their treatment of boys and girls, suggesting a canadian value orientation that contrasts sharply with the cross-sex permissiveness noted in an american study employing the same procedure. (french summary) (28 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)