Gender Typing in Early Childhood

Gender-specific toys

Gender Typing

"The process by which children acquire the values, motives, and behaviors viewed as appropriate for male and female within a culture" ("Gender Roles," 2003).

Gender Role Expectations

Boys are expected to be assertive, active, and independent, while girls are expected to be more passive, delicate, and dependent (Berk, 2010)

Parental Influences

Many Parents prefer that their children play with certain toys and behave in a way that is appropriate for their sex.

Gender-specific Toys

Toy manufacturers market toys for boys and girls that are gender-specific, maintaining traditional gender roles (Peretti & Sydney, 1984).

Parental Toy Preference

Since it is the parents that select and buy toys for children, especially during infancy and early childhood, toy manufacturers design and make toys that appeal to both child and parent. Boys get toys that are masculine like, toy trucks, baseball gloves, and action figures, while girls get toys that are feminine like, barbie dolls, doll houses, and jewelry. These type of toys aid in socializing children in gender and social-role identities.

Not everyone agrees with the traditional gender roles

Girl's rant targets gender roles, toys

Girl’s rant targets gender roles, toys


Berk, L. E. (2010). Emotional and social development in early childhood. In J. Mosher, M.

Limoges, T. Pauken, S. Harris, J. Ashkenaz, P. Barter, ... S. Messer (Ed.),

Development through the lifespan (5 ed., pp. 255-287). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Gender Roles and Gender Differences. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Peretti, P. O., & Sydney, T. M. (1984). Parentaly toy choice stereotyping and its effects on child toy preference and sex-role typing. Social Behavior and Personality, 12, 213-216. Retrieved from