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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Early childhood gender socialization : subtitle implications of sex-typed toys and play on adulthood career outcomes Rhodes, Katherine

Abstract

Sex-typed childhood toys are used as indicators of parent-child gender socialization. Sex-typed toys indicate gender roles and expectations parents expose their young children to. The present study's purpose is to test whether early childhood gender socialization is related to adulthood academic, career and family expectations. Gender role ideologies and gender schemas are hypothesized to mediate these relationships. Two hundred and seventy-seven university students volunteered to complete surveys. The surveys measured the frequency of play in feminine and masculine toys and games, neutral toys, and with each parent. The dependent variables measure the number of women enrolled in respondents' declared university majors (specializations), as well as their expected commitment to future occupation, parenting, marital, and home care roles. Expected role commitments are measured using the Life Role Salience Scale (Amatea et al., 1986). Gender role ideologies are measured by using the short version o f the Attitudes Towards Women Scale (Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1973), and gender schemas are measured by using Bern's (1974) short version of the Bern Sex Role Inventory. The results of the study found that exposure to sex-typed toys i n early childhood is related to expected commitment levels to future occupational, parenting, marital, and home care roles, as well as to enrollment in female dominated university majors. Gender role ideologies and gender schemas mediate more of the relationships tested in the male sample than in the female sample.

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