Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Eileen Wood

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This study investigated the role of parenting experience on the gender socialization of children. Each of the children (N=48) played with three adults; one of their parents, one parent of another child, and one non-parent. The amount of time children and adults played with gender-specific toys, adults’ categorization of toys into gender categories and adults’ desirability ratings of gender-specific toys were examined. Results indicated that boys spent most of their time playing with masculine toys, while girls spent an equal amount of time playing with feminine and neutral toys and the least amount of time playing with masculine toys. The gender sorting task revealed that adults did not agree with traditional “expert” categorizations of some of the toys as masculine and feminine. Adults rated the desirability of the toys as a function of the gender of the child with whom they played. In addition, overall parents rated the toys as more desirable than non-parents.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season