Hormone und Spielverhalten

Eine interessante Studie zum Spielverhalten von Kindern und der diesbezüglichen Wirkung von Hormonen:

We investigated playmate and play style preference in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) (26 females, 31 males) and their unaffected siblings (26 females, 17 males) using the Playmate and Play Style Preferences Structured Interview (PPPSI). Both unaffected boys and girls preferred same-sex playmates and sex-typical play styles. In the conflict condition where children chose between a same-sex playmate engaged in an other-sex activity or an other-sex playmate engaged in a same-sex activity, boys (both CAH and unaffected brothers) almost exclusively chose playmates based on the preferred play style of the playmate as opposed to the preferred gender label of the playmate. By contrast, unaffected girls used play style and gender label about equally when choosing playmates. Girls with CAH showed a pattern similar to that of boys: their playmate selections were more masculine than unaffected girls, they preferred a boy-typical play style and, in the conflict condition, chose playmates engaged in a masculine activity. These findings suggest that prenatal androgen exposure contributes to sex differences in playmate selection observed in typically-developing children, and that, among boys and girls exposed to high levels of androgens prenatally, play style preferences drive sex segregation in play.

Quelle: Prenatal hormones and childhood sex-segregation: Playmate and play style preferences in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Ich finde es interessant, weil hier untersucht wird, welches Spielverhalten und welche Spielkameraden jeweils gesucht werden. Wie zu erwarten wenn man von biologischen Unterschieden ausgeht werden gleiche Spielverhalten und das gleiche Geschlecht bevorzugt. Allerdings bevorzugten Mädchen mit CAH eher das Spielverhalten von Jungs.

Die allgemeinen Unterschiede werden wie folgt dargestellt:

hildhood sex segregation is a robust phenomenon and the developmental trajectory of same-sex affiliation has been well documented (Fabes, Martin, & Hanish, 2003; Jacklin & Maccoby, 1978; LaFreniere, Strayer, and Gauthier, 1984; Maccoby and Jacklin, 1987; Martin and Fabes, 2001; Ruble & Martin, 1998; Wasserman & Stern, 1978). The magnitude of the preference for same- versus other-sex affiliation is quite large, increases at least into middle childhood, and appears to be resistant to change (Maccoby and Jacklin, 1987; Powlishta, Serbin, and Moller, 1993; Serbin, Tonick, and Sternglanz, 1977). However, while the behavioral features of children’s sex-typed playmate preferences are generally understood, the underlying mechanisms are not.

The extant literature on childhood sex segregation in general implicates cognitive, social, and biological processes with the general consensus that the full explanation integrates these theoretical perspectives. Independent effects of gender labels and play styles in children’s playmate selections have also been investigated with some researchers hypothesizing that the sex differences in play style themselves probably contribute to children’s preferences for same-sex play partners. For example, it has been demonstrated that boys and girls differ in toy choices, activity levels, and rough-and-tumble play. Compared to boys, girls play more with dolls and doll furnishings, are less active, and are less interested in rough, outdoor play. By contrast, compared to girls, boys play more with construction and transportation toys, are more active and are more interested in rough, outdoor play (Berenbaum & Hines, 1992; DiPietro, 1981; Eaton & Enns, 1986; Hines & Kaufman, 1994; Maccoby & Jacklin, 1974; Pasterski, et al., 2005; Pasterski, et al., 2007; Ruble & Martin, 1998; see Hines, 2009 for review).

Also auch hier Unterschiede, wobei Mädchen lieber mit Puppen spielen, weniger aktiv sind, weniger interessiert an rauen Spielen draussen sind. Männer spielen eher mit Konstruktionen und Transportspielzeug und sind eher aktiver und mehr an rauen Spiel draussen interessiert.

Aus der Besprechung der Ergebnisse:

The findings from the current study elucidate a potential underlying mechanism responsible for the observed pattern of childhood sex segregation. For boys and for girls with CAH, playmate selection relates mostly to the play style of the playmate, irrespective of the playmate’s gender. Playstyle and playmate preferences of girls with CAH were both shifted significantly in the masculine direction compared to unaffected girls. In addition, for girls with CAH play style was more important than gender label in choosing playmates, as evidenced by their selecting female playmates engaged in a masculine activity when these two dimensions were put into conflict. As noted above, play style is influenced by prenatal androgen exposure. Girls with CAH show masculinized play styles (Hines, 2009) and amniotic fluid testosterone, as well as maternal testosterone during pregnancy, correlates with male-typical play styles in healthy girls (Auyeung, et al., 2009; Hines, et al., 2002). Thus, playmate preference may be a secondary effect of the influence of androgen on play style. Although social sanctions may also contribute to boys’ rejection of feminine play styles, this is unlikely for girls with CAH who appear not to be subjected to such sanctions. In fact, girls with CAH have been shown to receive increased parental encouragement of girl-typical play (see Pasterski, et al., 2005).

Mädchen mit CAH zeigen einen maskulinen Spielstil, obwohl ihre Eltern versuchen, sie eher zu einem weiblichen Spielstil zu bringen.

Und weiter:

This study demonstrates that not only are there sex and CAH-related differences in play styles, but also in the extent to which play style matters when choosing a playmate. We found that the majority of boys and girls with CAH chose playmates based on the preferred play style of the playmate rather than the gender label of the playmate. By contrast, the group of unaffected girls chose playmates based on the playmate’s gender and play style roughly equally. Although there are stronger social sanctions on cross-gender play for boys than there are for girls, these stronger sanctions are unlikely to account for the male-typical pattern displayed by girls with CAH since they are not subject to the sanctions. The implication is that prenatal androgen influences not only preferences for play styles, but also makes these play styles of greater importance when choosing a playmate. The findings also suggest that, although prenatal androgen exposure influences both children’s play style preferences and their playmate preferences, the shift in the masculine direction for playmate preference may be indirect, via the altered preference for a masculine play style. Thus, both in boys and in girls with CAH, prenatal exposure to high levels of androgen may make certain toys and activities so appealing that they drive playmate selection.

Es ist wieder eine dieser Studien, die aus meiner Sicht schwer durch soziale Theorien oder Rollenbilder zu erklären sind. Denn in diesem Fall müßten die CAH-Mädchen als Mädchen eher mit ihresgleichen spielen und sich da den weiblichen Rollenbildern anpassen. Sie bevorzugen aber abweichend davon den männlichen Spielstil und männliche Spielpartner