Gender Roles in Preschoolers

By, Danielle Swenson

Ways Preschoolers Learn Gender Roles

  • Family Life
  • Preschool
  • Media

Family Life

  • Siblings and Parents
  • Every child's family life is different
  • Boys and girls are treated differently
  • Older siblings teach younger siblings how to play
  • There are masculine traits and feminine traits learned from parents and siblings


  • Children learn gender roles from their play in preschool
  • In a classroom their are "girl" toys and "boy" toys
  • One way they learn gender roles form a preschool classroom is role-playing
  • For example: playing house
  • Boys will choose action roles, like repair man
  • Girls will choose more nurturing roles, like mom or sister


  • Television uses stereotypes
  • Girls= emotional, silly, and beautiful
  • Boys= strong, smart, and successful
  • Commercials are directed towards a gender
  • Barbies are for girls as Spiderman is for boys


1.There are two little girls who are friends. One has an older sister and one has an older brother. Which one would be more masculine?
  • Answer: The one with the brother because the girl will learn form her older brother through playing with him. In result she will learn more masculine traits.
2. When role playing what role would a little boy choose, police officer, cook, or dad?

  • Answer: Police officer. Boys will choose the role involving action.
3. Why is it abnormal to have a women in a television show that is a firefighter?

  • Answer: Because usually a women is a nurturing role like mother or teacher, not a action role like fire fighter. They are also rarely the main character.