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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.