How do toys that promote pro-social behavior benefit development during childhood?

Please read the instructions carefully! This is a two-step assignment. In step 1, you are to compile the summaries below and write a 1 paragraph summary based upon everyone’s findings

Step 1: In your Learning Team, read and discuss the Week Three Electronic Reserve Readings.

As you discuss these articles, pay special attention to the following topics and issues:

· Toys that may encourage violence and aggression

· Toys that may promote pro-social behavior

· Gender differences in toy selection and preference and/or social encouragement of gender-specific toys

· Cultural influences on toys

Write a one-paragraph summary of the main findings from these articles, as they relate to the bulleted topics and issues.

1. The article I read was “Parent-Toddler Play with Feminine Toys: Are All Dolls the Same?”  It talked about girls and boys can both be into the same types of toys whether they are boys or girls. They both can play with baby dolls, cars, clowns etc. There is no certain gender to play with toys. We need to let the child explore and use their imagination. When children play with more girl toys they become more nurturing than when they play with boy toys. it becomes more calming for them. When the child is about 18 months they choose to play with either girl toys or boy toys. Most girls will play with girl toys and most boys will play with boy toys. They did a study to show which with whether it was the dolls or the clowns. They didn’t want to be feminist. The child’s parents would play with dolls and clowns with both the boys and the girls no matter what they were trying to determine the interaction, and which toy the child liked better.

Caldera Y, Sciarraffa M. Parent-Toddler Play with Feminine Toys: Are All Dolls the Same?. Sex Roles [serial online]. November 1998;39(9-10):657-668. Available from: SocINDEX with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 19, 2018

2. The article I read was “ Children’s perceptions of aggresive and gender-specific content in toy commercials 

· Boys are targeted through commercials for more aggressive content than girls are

· Violence in television is a significant cause of violence in society, and this is based on 3 studies: 1. Surgeon General’s Commission Report on the Impact of Television Violence (1972); 2. National Institute of Mental Health’s Ten-Year Follow-Up (1982); 3. American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Television in Society (1993)

· Television shows aggressive behavior that does not come with consequences, and this is seen just as effective as behavior that is awarded

· Aggressiveness in one area of life that is accepted can roll into other aspects of life. This is known as the Cultural Spillover Theory. Allowing children to buy aggressive toys and watch aggressive shows legitimizes aggression

· Children do not have the means to defend against commercial persuasion and thus can be greatly influenced by aggression found in commercials.

· Since boys are geared towards more aggressive toys and socialized towards these aggressive toys, their perception of aggression is very different than girls (less likely to perceive aggression as much)


Klinger, L. J., Hamilton, J. A., & Cantrell, P. J. (2001). Children’s perceptions of aggressive and gender-specific content in toy commercials. Social Behavior and Personality, 29(1), 11. Retrieved from

3. I read the Article, “Sex stereotyping in children’s toy advertisements.  Sex  Roles .”

Sex-role socialization is a crucial aspect of socialization, with profound effects on a child’s expectations, self-image, and behavior (Schwartz, & Markham 1985). Although children learn sex roles from a variety of sources some examples include cartoons, toys, social media, and etc.., but parents are the number one source of learning for adolescents. Parents can monitor what the children watch on social media, but parents are not always able to control every commercials or maybe a book that was introduced to them at school regarding sex-role models. In this article, it also discusses that children’s respond to a reward, therefore once parents see their children playing the role of the same sex model, then children will respond by thinking they are doing good. It also states that by the age of 4 children have learned how to pick their appropriate sex-role model. That being said children also are continuing to pick up what they have been seeing and this will fall into adulthood. For example, a girl plays the sex role of a stay at home mother that cleans and cooks for her husband that works. When she becomes an adult this may follow her and she may feel this is what she wants to do when she gets married and has a family.

Schwartz, L. A., & Markham, W. T. (1985). Sex stereotyping in children’s toy advertisements. Sex Roles, 12(1/2), 157.

4. The article I read was Parent-Toddler Play with Feminine Toys: Are All Dolls the Same? In this article they were studying whether there was a difference in toddler play with dolls versus a clown. In addition, it also was monitoring whether the female parent or male parent were teaching/showing different play with either the dolls or the clown to the boys versus the girls. Within the findings it showed that there was a different within the mother and father in the play styles with sons and daughters. ” As expected, mothers with daughters initiated more nurturing and care taking of the baby dolls than mothers with sons. However, fathers with sons also initiated higher rates of nurturing and care taking with the baby dolls than with the clown” (Caldera & Sciarraffa, 1998, pp 665). It was extremely interesting to see that fathers expected the daughters to already show that nurturing type of behavior towards the dolls.


Caldera, Y. M., & Sciarraffa, M. A. (1998). Parent-Toddler Play with Feminine Toys: Are All Dolls the Same?. Sex Roles, 39(9-10), 657-668.

In Step 2, you are to come up with just 2 power point slides, my portion is highlighted in red.

The Toys that my team and I decided to use were

· Toys that may encourage violence and aggression- toys chosen were nerf guns/arrows

· Toys that may promote pro-social behavior – toys choses were puzzles

· Gender differences in toy selection and preference and/or social encouragement of gender-specific toys- toys chosen were barbie gender specific for girls

· Cultural influences on toys- soccer balls or any sports toys that brings all cultures together

Complete – Within your Learning Team, investigate popular toys on the market today. You can use the internet or visit a toy store to do this research. See if you can find toys that fall into the four categories above: those that may promote aggression; those that may promote pro-social behavior; those that seem to encourage or discourage gender stereotyping; and those that seem to encourage or discourage cultural differences and/or stereotyping. Identify and investigate a minimum of four toys; one from each category. Discuss your observations about these four categories. Use the questions below as guidance for your team’s analysis of the toys.

· How do toys influence behavior, self-concept, and identity?

· What did you observe concerning positive and negative gender stereotyping?

· How has your research on toys and gender influenced your views on the relative influences of environment and heredity on gender and identity development in children?

· From your review of the literature and your examination of actual toys on the market, do you believe that some toys may increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior in children?  Under what circumstances might this occur?  Explain.

· How has your research on toys and aggression influenced your views on the relative influences of environment and heredity on aggressive behavior in children? 

· Do any of the toys that you have examined promote stereotypes? Do any discourage stereotypes? Explain.

· Do any of the toys reflect or indicate cultural and ethnic stereotypes? What effect can you see this having on the development of self-concept and identity?

· How do toys that promote pro-social behavior benefit development during childhood?

Create a 12- to 15-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® presentation of your findings including detailed speakers notes. Your presentation should summarize the four or more toys you investigated and present your findings on how toys influence development.  Conclude your presentation with a discussion of the following:

· After evaluating toys, what would you advise parents concerning how toys can influence the development of their children? What would you want them to be aware of and why?

· Have your views about the relative influences of heredity and environment on human development changed in any way?  For example, are there things you once attributed to heredity that you now believe to be more strongly influenced by the environment, or vice versa?

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