Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Boys' play has been conceptualized within three main research areas: sex/age differences in gender/maturity-typing of play; play as a gendered site, and thus as a site for the study and critique of young masculinities; and cultural-commercial articulations of play culture(s) as boyhood culture. What constitutes boys' play, or “boyish play” or “games boys play,” therefore invites ethical, clinical, commercial, literary, ethological, and historical-anthropological approaches. Sex differences in and gender-typing of play have been studied for various reasons, mainly developmental, pedagogical, clinical, and feminist. Most of this research is limited to Western classrooms, playgrounds, and more experimental settings, and to the later half of the 20th century. A lesser-developed area of research addresses differences in father and mother play styles and related aspects of gender/maturity typing in intergenerational play. Sizable sex differences in spontaneous toy choice are noted at the early age of 12 months. Even with otherwise attractive toys, preschool ...