Murray State Theses and Dissertations


The purpose of this study was to examine parental preference regarding their children and gender-specific and gender-neutral toys. More specifically, to examine some factors that may impact parents’ preferences regarding the types of toys their child chooses. The factors of interest used in the present study include general demographics (e.g., gender, age, etc.), gender role perceptions, religiosity, and level of conservatism. Participants were gathered from a survey-taking website. The sample consisted of 88 parents (43 female, 43 male, and 2 who chose not to identify) whose ages ranged from 22 to 62 (M = 31.82, SD = 6.95). Each participant was given brief measures to assess for each of the factors of interest. Parents were then asked to identify one of their children to consider throughout the study. They were shown a series of images of toys and asked the likelihood they would purchase that particular toy for their child, as well as how happy they would be if their child were to play with the particular toy. Overall, results suggest those that those endorsing more masculine stereotypes are more likely to purchase a masculine toy for their child; the opposite was found with female stereotypes and feminine toys. Further, those that identified as more conservative were more likely to adhere to stricter gender roles.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

children, gender, play, toys, parents

Degree Awarded

Master of Science




College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Laura Liljequist

Committee Member

Jana Hackathorn

Committee Member

Maria Vázquez Brown

Committee Member

Cynthia Gayman

Document Type