Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Katherine Karraker

Committee Co-Chair

Natalie Shook

Committee Member

JoNell Strough


The toys with which children play shape their development in several domains (Trawick-Smith, Russell, & Swaminathan, 2011). Exclusive or primary play with gender-typed toys may limit children's development, because toys considered appropriate for boys, girls, or both have different characteristics (Blakemore & Centers, 2005; Serbin & Connor, 1979). Especially in infancy and early childhood, children's toy play is affected by adults (parent and nonparent), who may differentially provide access to and/or reinforce play with different toys (Kane, 2006). The variability in adults' attitudes regarding the gender-appropriateness of toys is not well-understood.;The purpose of this study was to examine the relations between nonparent adults' attitudes about the gender-appropriateness of toys and other beliefs and attitudes. For a sample of 417 nonparent college students (N=417), several dimensions of participants' gender belief systems, including hostile sexism, benevolent sexism, neosexism, and beliefs about homosexuality, including homonegativity and beliefs about the etiology of homosexuality, were related to their gender-typed ratings of toys. Male participants rated toys in a more gender-typed way, and female-stereotypical toys were rated in a more gender-typed way than male-stereotypical toys. This research contributes to knowledge about motivations for adults' socialization of gendered behavior in children.