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Scholars Day 2005, Wednesday, April 13

Gender Socialization of Infants

How do socialization patterns differ for males and female infants? In this project I observed the adultsí (daycare providers and parents) interactions with the infants. The interactions include touching, holding patterns, tone of voice, word choice, type of play, and type of toys that are given to the infants. I find that although there was much similarity in the way male and female infants were cared for, there were also significant differences. For example, I found that females were more likely to be spoken to in a softer voice than male infants. And although treating children roughly was not common, it was found to happen more with male infants. I compared my findings to other research that found that gender roles were defined by adults in children ages three and older. It is important to observe when this change takes place and why, so that we can better understand the socialization into gender.

Presenter: Michelle Hill (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Sociology
Location: 316 MetroCenter
Time: 6 pm (Session VI)

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