Gender strerotypes and parent-child interaction in 3-year olds: what can we learn from plays with gendered toys?

Julie Bardet 1 Jean-Pierre Chevrot 2, 1 Stéphanie Barbu 3
2 DANTE - Dynamic Networks : Temporal and Structural Capture Approach
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LIP - Laboratoire de l'Informatique du Parallélisme, IXXI - Institut Rhône-Alpin des systèmes complexes
Abstract : Normative social representations of gender and how we position ourselves regarding them, depend on our social environment, which takes place in a specific cultural and political context (Hoffman, 1977). We are interested in the early development of gender identity, a specific concern in the current context in Europe and elsewhere. Our study is conducted in France, where recent public actions have been carried out against gender stereotypes (cf. « the ABCD of equality » pilot teaching program in 2013-2014). In this context, we explore how children grow up in a world already structured by gender representations (Fagot & Leinbach, 1989), that partly shape the interaction between parents and children (Santrock, 1994; Peretti & Sydney, 1984). We adopt an interactionnist approach to observe parent-child interaction in a context challenging attitudes towards gender stereotypes (Caldera et al., 1989). Free playing sessions were organized at home, involving 24 three-year-olds French speaking children (12 girls and 12 boys) and their two parents. Each child was videotaped during two playing sessions (with the mother and with the father). The participants were proposed to play with gendered toys (Blakemore & Centers, 2005): 1/male oriented: a garage ; 2/female oriented: a doll house ; 3/neutral: pieces for creating animals. We present the preliminary analysis focusing on the first 5 minutes of interaction. We answer the following questions: who did initiate the playing session and which toy was chosen for ? How do the players shift to another toy ? Both verbal («Do you want to play with the garage ?») and non-verbal (pointing a toy) cues were collected. First results suggest that contra-stereotypical choices are overtly encouraged whereas stereotypical ones are implicitly induced. The direct observation of the interactions was combined with a method from social cognition (Implicit Association Test) and a sociodemographic survey of the families.
Document type :
Poster communications
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Jean-Pierre Chevrot <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 2, 2017 - 9:17:39 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, April 14, 2019 - 7:20:11 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01424791, version 1


Julie Bardet, Jean-Pierre Chevrot, Stéphanie Barbu. Gender strerotypes and parent-child interaction in 3-year olds: what can we learn from plays with gendered toys? . Sixth Conference on Explorations in Ethnography, Language and Communication, Diversities in global societies, Sep 2016, Stockholm, Sweden. 2016. ⟨hal-01424791⟩



Record views