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Sex Differences in the Complexity of Children's Play and Games

Janet Lever
American Sociological Review
Vol. 43, No. 4 (Aug., 1978), pp. 471-483
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094773
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Sex Differences in the Complexity of Children's Play and Games
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Abstract

Play and games are situations in which important informal learning takes place. Specific attention is given to the social skills that emerge as a consequence of a particular style of play. The study, which draws upon a multiple-method design, reveals significant differences in the organization of play between the sexes. The primary difference concerns the complexity of the social setting in which play occurs. Boys' play is more complex than girls' play, as indexed by such attributes as role differentiation, interdependence between players, size of play group, explicitness of goals, number of rules, and team formation. The possible sources and consequences of this sex difference are explored.

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