chapter  29
Gender Equity in Early Learning Environments
ByBarbara Polnick, Carol Anne Dweyer, Carole Funk Haynie, Merle Froschl, Barbara Sprung, Doris Fromberg
Pages 22

Over a hundred years ago, this familiar nursery rhyme was chanted throughout the homes of America, and since that time, many girls have lived under a “sugar and spice” role expectation. Boys, too, have had their roles defined for them in terms of what they should do and be. For both genders, this stereotyping began as soon as they were wrapped in their pink or blue blankets (Basow, 1992). As traditional and natural as gender role assignments appear, gender stereotyping during the early years can define and shape the future for children.