Very early on young children can already make the difference between males and females, and by age 3 they know their own gender.
The best way adults can help support children’s gender development is by:
- Exposing them to various types of feminine and masculine toys and activities and to counter-stereotypic models (ex. policewomen, male nurses).
- Creating play environments well suited for either boys or girls.
- Avoiding gender-stereotyped comments and by challenging children’s biases and gender stereotypes.
- Making sure children have plenty of opportunities to interact with and learn from boys and girls through mixed-gender activities.
- Letting young children explore other roles.