Title

Characteristics of Boys' and Girls' Toys

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

Publication Source

Sex Roles

Volume

53

Issue

9-10

Inclusive pages

619-633

DOI

10.1007/s11199-005-7729-0

ISBN/ISSN

03600025

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

In Study 1, 292 undergraduates rated 126 toys as to whether they were suitable for boys, girls, or both. From these ratings, we established five categories of toys: strongly masculine, moderately masculine, neutral, moderately feminine, and strongly feminine. Using these categories, we constructed four toysets; each consisted of 15 toys, three from each category. In Study 2, 706 undergraduates individually rated the toys from one of the toysets on 26 scales that measured the toys' characteristics. We found that girls' toys were associated with physical attractiveness, nurturance, and domestic skill, whereas boys' toys were rated as violent, competitive, exciting, and somewhat dangerous. The toys rated as most likely to be educational and to develop children's physical, cognitive, artistic, and other skills were typically rated as neutral or moderately masculine. We conclude that strongly gender-typed toys appear to be less supportive of optimal development than neutral or moderately gender-typed toys.

Keywords

toys, gender, masculine, feminine

Disciplines

Psychology

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