children psychology



Topic: ToyAdsandGenderStereotyping

Inthisassignment,youwillexamineinfluencesongenderdevelopmentbycategorizingadvertisementsfortoysthataredirectedtowardchildrenofdifferentages.Fromthedefinitionsofgendertypingthatyoudevelop (with members of your group),youwillclassifyadsasdepictinggender-typed,gender-neutral,orcross-gender-typedplay.As a group, youwilltallythedifferencesassociatedwithboth genderandageinthese categoriesandcompareyourresultswiththoseyouwouldexpectbased onthematerialinthetextbook.
The project culminates in the preparation and submission of a one-page written report, prepared and submitted by each student (working independently of their group). Each studentwill explore the implications of their findings, using one or moreofthetheoreticalperspectivesonthedevelopmentofgender,aspresentedinChapter15 of your text. Specific guidelines for what to include in your paper are provided below.

General Instructions
The instructions presented below are separated by the preparation and classification phases that are to be completed in groups, and the write-up phase that is to be done individually by each student in the class.
Our goals in asking that you do the preparation and classification phases of the project in groups are twofold:
(1) To encourage clarity in defining and developing guidelines for recognizing examples of gender-typical, gender-neutral, and cross-gender-typed play; by asking that group members be able to reach a consensus in their definitions and in their initial classification of specific toy ads, clarity should be enhanced.
(2) Working in groups allows for a division of labor. We are asking that you locate and classify on the order of 30 (or more) toy ads, distributed over three age groups, and then summarize the overall pattern of findings. We recognize that this involves a lot of work; dividing the tasks among group members reduces the workload for everyone. It will be necessary that groups allocate tasks to specific group members.

Small Group Activities
Project Preparation
1. Beginbydeveloping working definitionsfor“gender-typical,”“gender-neutral”and“cross-gender-typed”play. It is important that you avoid circular definitions, like“typically played with bygirls” as a definition of “gender-typical.” Rather,focusondimensionsofbehaviorthatcorrespondtogenderstereotypes.Forexample,youmightconsidermechanicalaptitudeorinterest(indicatedbyplaywitherectorsetsorotherconstructiontoys)astypicalofmales. Hence,playing with construction toys would be an example ofgender-typedplayfor boys, and cross-gender-typed play for girls.Similarly,youmightconsidernurturingbehaviorandconcernwithappearanceas indicativeof stereotyped female behavior; as such, you would code toysrelatedto housekeepingplayorpretendgroomingasgender-stereotypedforgirlsandcross-gender-typedforboys.Seepage 595inthetextforadiscussionofgenderroles.
2. Based onthematerialpresentedinChapter15, developasetofpredictionsthatyour groupwill testbased onyourobservations.Forexample,afterreadingthematerial in Box 15.4 ontextpage613,youwould likelypredict thatmoregirls thanboyswould bedepictedincross-gender-typedplay. Formquestionsregardingageexpectationsaswell.Forexample,afterreadingaboutthedevelopmentofgenderidentityontextpage608,youwillexpectthatmostinfanttoyswillbegenderneutral.Whatotheragepredictionsdoesthematerialinthischaptersupport?
3. With members of your group, collectasampleoftoyadsfromonlinecatalogsornewspapercirculars.Yourchoiceof toysshould be representative of thosetargeted towardchildreninyourcommunity.Chooseadsdistributedbymajorretailers and avoidadsfromspecialtyvendors.The ads that you select should show one or more children interacting with the toys. Ideally, the ads you select will show roughly equal numbers of boys and girls, distributed equally across the following age groups: infantsandtoddlers(ages2andunder);preschoolers(ages3to5);andelementaryschoolchildren(ages6to10).In somecases,theadswillbeclearlylabeledaspresentingtoysforaspecifiedagegroup.Inothercases,youmayneedtodevelopsomeguidelinesforclassifyingtheadsintooneagegrouporanother. Forexample,youmaydecidethattoysaredirectedtowardelementary school children because thebedroom picturedin thead containsastudentdeskandschoolbooks. Your final set of ads should include at least ten different toys for each of the three age levels.

Classification of Ads
1. Prepare a tally sheet to classify the pictures for each age level. Your tally sheet might look like this:

AgeGroup GenderRoleClassificationforGirlsandBoys
GenderTypical Cross-Gender-Typed GenderNeutral
Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys
0-2 Years
3-5 Years
6-10 Years

**NOTE: Each of you will be asked to submit a copy of the completed tally sheet with your one-page paper, so it will be necessary to create a computer file to distribute to all group members.

2. Usingthedefinitionsyouhavedeveloped,classifyeachadasshowingeitheraboyoragirlingender-typical,cross-gender-typed,orgender-neutralplay.Forexample,incategorizinganadshowingapreschoolgirlplayingwithaglamorousdress-upkit,youwouldmakeonetallyinthe“girls”sectionofthe“gender-typical”columninthepreschoolsection.Similarly,youwouldlikelyclassifyanadshowingaboyplayingwithagunbyaddingonemarktothe“boys”columnunderthe“gender-typical”category.If a boy and a girl are shown in the ad, classify the gender typing based on the child who has the more active role; e.g., if a boy and girl are shown in a toy kitchen, but the girl is serving the boy a pretend meal, use the girl’s behavior to classify the ad.
We recommend that you establish early on that different members of your group are in agreement with one another in their classification of ads into the gender-typical, cross-gender-typical and gender-neutral categories. Have two or more group members classify a partial set of ads independently of one another, and then check to see whether you are in agreement. If not, make sure that you are all referring to the agreed-upon definitions of the different categories of play, and clarify your written definitions as needed. Once you are all satisfied with your agreed-upon definitions, continue classifying your full set of ads.
3. Summarizeyour group’s resultsforeachagelevel.For example,lookattherelativefrequenciesofboysversusgirlswhoweredepictedintheads.Weremoreboysorgirlspresentedoverall?Oftheadsineachcategory(gender-typical,cross-gender-typed,gender-neutral), whatpercentageshowedeachgender?Withregardtotheadsshowinggirls,whatpercentagefellintoeachofthethreecategoriesofsex-typing?Whataboutthoseshowingboys? (Remember to assign roles to group members to distribute the workload. For example, if two group members were involved in the classification of ads, have a third group member create and distribute the summary of findings along with the final tally sheet.)

Individual Write-Ups: Submit online no later than 11:59PM on Thursday, April 30
Each student is individually responsible for a one-page written report, based on the group’s observations and tallies. In your report, state the expectations that guided your group’s observations, and then present and interpret the group’s results. Were your expectations supported? In what ways? Discuss your findings with regard to the theoretical perspectives on gender development presented in your text. For example, do the differences in the ads that you observed at different age levels correspond to the development of the gender concept? How might children’s gender schemas affect (and be affected by) the pattern of toy choices presented in the ads? Does the pattern of influences you observed correspond to Maccoby’s account of gender segregation (as discussed on text page 609)? Please note it is NOT necessary (or even advisable) that you address each and every one of these questions in your report!
To receive full credit, it is necessary that you:
• state the expectations that guided your group’s observations
• evaluate these expectations in light of your group’s findings
• discuss the implications of your findings in relation to at least one of the theoretical perspectives on gender development discussed in Chapter 15 of your text

Formatting requirements: The maximum length for the paper is one-page, double-spaced, in a font comparable to Times New Roman 12-point, with one-inch margins all around.

The paper is worth up to 10-points and will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Theoretical Discussion – 6 points
Criteria 6 5 4 3 2 1
• Expectations are clearly identified and evaluated in relation to the group’s findings
• Writing shows clear understanding of one or more theoretical perspectives on gender development from Chapter 15
• Reported findings are discussed reasonably in relation to at least one theoretical perspective on gender development
• Work displays critical thinking and avoids simplistic description or summary of information Meets all criteria Meets some criteria Meets few criteria

Overall Writing Quality – 4 points
Criteria 4 3 2 1
• Did you submit a summary copy of the group tally sheet?
• Correctness of grammar and spelling
• Follows length and formatting requirements
• Effective movement between main points and supporting ideas Meets all criteria Meets some criteria Meets few criteria


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