My observation took place at the house of one of my friends. I was observing Shauna, Samantha, Jonathan, and Alex. They are all three and four year old children. They were playing in the back yard of the house. There was a little play structure, a basketball hoop, and a children's wading pool. The children were playing, Shauna and Samantha, and then Jonathan and Alex. I noticed that the boys were playing together and the girls together. I didn't really think about this since I don't think that it is abnormal for children to separate themselves, be it by gender, interests, or race. After a few minutes, I noticed that Jonathan and Alex would go from the basketball hoop to the play structure, where the girls were having a tea party. They would go and give the girls a hard time by either tossing sand on the table, taking one of the other ladies (stuffed animals and dolls) away from the table, or knocking over the teacups (which were full of water). Eventually, the girls got tired of this and went over to get their revenge on the boys by trying to take away the basketball that they were playing with. When they got the ball back, the boys told them that they were not allowed to play basketball because "girls can't do sports with boys."
When I talked to them I learned that the boys' justification for not letting the girls play is that when you see basketball on TV you only see boys, and not girls. I thought it was interesting that the boys used the fact that you only see men on TV to justify that they can't play with the girls. I would have thought that they would tell the girls that they can't play basketball because girls aren't allowed, or some other such reason. While it is true that on the high school, club, collegiate, and professional levels men and women play separately on nearly every sport I momentarily ignored this and leapt into action
The house that I was at had a children's book about the WNBA [continues]
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