Hi, i need to read an article then reflect on it. Please give me some suggestions and let me know if there are any grammar errors, thanks!My reflection
To begin with, my two little critiques are about the vagueness showed in the article. First, in their first study (e.g., the free toy choice situation), they asked children to construct an imaginary exciting scene and the descriptions were recorded. Also, "If nothing exciting was described about the scene, the child was asked what was the most exciting thing about the scene." (p. 509) I am wondering what does "exciting" mean here. I think the author should give examples or definition of what is "exciting". Second, when they report the result of first study, they wrote "Moreover, 3 subjects showed no scorable feminine or masculine functions; and 2 subjects who had an equal proportion of masculine and feminine themes were not classified as predominantly masculine or feminine." (p. 511) Since they wanted to know whether children's gender or toy's sex characteristics affect children's play construction, they should clearly pointed out the 3 and 2 subjects in above quotation are girls or boys.
Regardless of the flaws, this research is very interesting because it started from Erikson's (1951, 1963) work, but the authors stated that in Erikson (1951, 1963) and Cramen and Hogan (1975), which replicated Erikson's research, "do not eliminate the possibility that certain types of constructions and themes result from play with boys' toys, and different types of constructions and themes characterize play with girls' toys, regardless of the gender of the child using the toys." (p. 508) In addition to this, the authors proposed that "The use of same-sex toys (and therefore different toys by boys and girls) may represent a confounding factor in studies allowing the children free choice of materials." (p. 508) So they replicated the toys, scoring system and instructions used in Erikson (1951) and Cramen and Hogan (1975), to distinguish sex-typed toy choice from sex-typed play behavior.
Surprisingly, in the free choice situation, they found only the functions were significant related to subjects' sex, which was also presented in Erikson (1951) and Cramen et al. (1975). Neither configurations nor themes were significant related to subjects' sex. Because this finding was contradictory to what Erikson (1951) and Cramen et al. found, the authors should provide more explanation of why they had the different result in free toy choice situation. Additionally, since they recorded children's stories regarding their scenes, I would like to see some qualitative data of the process to know more beyond the statistic numbers.
In the first study (e.g., the free toy choice situation), the authors found that masculine functions and themes are more likely to occur when vehicles are used, but feminine functions and themes may be more likely to appear when a number of pieces of doll furniture are used in the child's play construction (p. 513). However, the authors also pointed out the sex-typed toy preferences in the free choice situation may obscure the importance of the toys in eliciting stereotyped play in either sex. Hence vehicles and dolls and doll furniture were particularly used in the second situation (e.g., limited toy choice situation) as boy's toy and girl's toy, as well as including the blocks as both gender's toy, in order to examine the sex-typed characteristics of children's play are determined by the type of toy used, and not by the child's gender. The experimental evidences indeed supported this hypothesis. They also found that sex differences appear with the neutral toy, the blocks. However, it is a pity that the authors did not provide explanations of this finding.
Based on the findings of two different toy choice situations, the authors proposed conclusions that children tend to avoid cross-gender play may result from the restriction of accessing certain sex-typed of toys rather than their ability of showing cross-gender play. While the subjects in this study were preadolescents, this conclusion still makes me to review my internship experiences of providing children toys and encouraging them to play. "Out of what purpose did I decide what types of toy need to be provided to children?" "Did I ever limited children in my class to certain sex-typed toys?" "Have I interpreted children's play in terms of their gender? How did I view their play?" This conclusion is really worthy for early childhood teachers to think more about how and why they provide toys (especially those for supporting gender appropriate behavior) in their classrooms.