Behavioral concordance with sex role ideology related to play areas, creativity, and parental sex typing of children

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Abstract

72 kindergarten children were individually observed, and their play areas and social interaction with peers and adults were recorded. Teachers rated each child individually, and along with a sample of adults, rated “most kindergarten boys/girls” on the same types of behavior. Parents completed a questionnaire scored for sex typing, and the children were individually tested on a measure of creativity. Girls, as compared to boys, played in more different places, related to adults almost twice as much, and played significantly more often indoors. Of 21 distinguishable play situations, the proportions in which 13 were used by girls and boys did not differ, and significant gender differences in social behavior that were directly observed were fewer in number than those expected by adults. Children whose behavior did not closely approximate sex role expectations by adults differed reliably from more conforming children in being more ideationally fluent. Less conforming boys were more often found in neutral areas and less often in play areas popular with children of their own gender. For girls only, a relationship was found between differences in parents' sex-typing scores and whether the child's behavior matched or did not match expectation. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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