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ERIC Number: ED265968
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Gender Segregation in Nursery School: Predictors and Outcomes.
Maccoby, Eleanor E.; Jacklin, Carol Nagy
Sex segregation is a powerful phenomenon in childhood. It occurs universally whenever children have a choice of playmates and is found in sub-human primates too. Adults are not directly responsible for sex segregation. Data do not support the hypothesis that the most ladylike girls and the most rough and active boys first form the segregated play groups that emerge in nursery school. Modest evidence indicates that participation in all-girl play groups serves a positive socializing function for girls. For boys, no such evidence was found. Recent findings contribute to the growing body of evidence that the cultures developed by boys and girls in their segregated groups are distinctive and serve different functions. Altogether, these findings and results of primate studies suggest that females are first to initiate segregation to avoid being dominated by males. These conjectures, however, do not explain why boys avoid playing with girls. It is concluded that gender segregation appears to be relatively intractable; it may be unwise for adults to try to prevent boys and girls from choosing same-sex playmates in unstructured play situations. Adults can play a very large role, though, in setting up structured situations in which cross-sex interactions can occur without placing on children the burden of letting their peers see that they have chosen a cross-sex partner. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A