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Do boys engage in more rough-and-tumble play, whereas girls demonstrate more pretend play involving caregiving?

June 24, 2021
Christopher R. Teeple

Practicum: Gender Differences in Play For this assignment you will be asked to observe two or more children at play. You must observe at least one girl and at least one boy. These children can be children that you observe in real-life (friends, family, etc.) or they can be children on TV (real-life observation if preferred, if possible). Your observation should be at least one hour in length. The children should not be younger than 2.5 years of age. (You should read Chapter 15 in your textbook prior to making your observations.) As you conduct your observation, consider the following guidelines and questions: Examine differences in the play of boys and girls. Do you notice any consistent gender differences? If you are observing toddlers, you may not see any obvious differences. Why might that be the case? For example, what would be the effect of not yet having developed symbolic play or a gender identity? In most cases, pre-school age boys and girls will show consistent differences in their play. Describe these differences. Are they characteristic of the differences that evolutionary psychology would predict? That is, do boys engage in more rough-and-tumble play, whereas girls demonstrate more pretend play involving caregiving? What other differences do you observe? Do any contextual variables (such as the caregivers’ behavior towards the child, the setting that the child is in, the time in history that your observation is being made, etc.) contribute to these differences? To what extent are the children themselves active in choosing gender-typical play activities? Provide specific examples. Your observations addressing some or all of these questions should be written up and summarized in a ONE-page outline. Be sure to address the specific questions outlined above. **You must include in your outline the details of your observation (see guidelines below). If you do not specify this information, 4 points will be deducted from your grade for this assignment. Guidelines for your outline are provided below. Sample one page outline. This is only a sample; feel free to find a structure that works best for you. Be sure to include all the important information, concisely and clearly. Your Name: John Smith Observation details: Conducted on 9/15/21 @ 12:00 PM. Observed my four cousins: two females (ages: 5 years, 3 months and 7 years, 2 months) and two males (ages: 4 years, 5 months and 4 years 8 months). Children were in a playground that had a swing set and sandbox with toys (e.g, trucks, shovels, buckets). -Instances where gender differences were observed. -Luke (4;5) and Harry (4;8) were playing with the trucks in the sandbox –xxxx. -Abby (5;3) and Valerie (7;2) were playing with the shovels building a castle with sand xxxxx -xxxx -xxxxx -Characteristics that evolutionary psychology would predict. -Boys engaged in rough and tumble play as demonstrated by their xxxxx. -Girls engaged in xxxx as demonstrated by their xxxxx. -Influences of contextual variables on gender differences. -Playground contained xxxxx -Mother and father of Luke xxxxx -Anny usually watches xxxxx -Instances where children actively chose gender-typed play activities -When Abby arrived she xxxxx -xxxxxxx Focus on presenting as many specific examples as possible that support a main point. For example, #1 in the outline is a main point, and the bullets are specific examples that support this main point.

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