Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Women's and Gender Studies


Honors College

First Advisor

Ina Seethaler


This research observes and analyzes the gendering of children’s clothing and how this affects how adults see children and gender, how children will grow to view one another, as well as how the children will eventually see themselves. For the purpose of this research, I am analyzing clothing for children of the ages two to eight because that is when a child begins to recognize themselves as their own person, begins to understand their personality, and starts to understand their own sex (Capsi, Roberst, Shiner 256). Children’s clothing often expresses messages that assert a masculine or feminine gender. These messages are not only specific to the gender binary, but they also can be based on gender stereotypes. These specifications can be problematic because they can force a child into a certain gender before the child realizes who they are on their own. Girl’s clothing can consist of pink, purple, and other bright colors with messages that portray a sense of sweetness or delicacy. Boy’s clothing expresses more of a rougher and outgoing message with darker colors. This research analyzes the information and observes different clothing sections in multiple stores and their online websites, such as Target, Children’s Place, and OshKosh B’Gosh. It also identifies any gender fluid clothing sections, as well as clothing sections that follow the gender binary and what these different sections look like. This matters to the research because it allows for the researcher to examine how each store understands gender. This research ultimately analyzes how putting children at the ages two to eight in clothing that is specific to male or females has the possibility to alter the way they are portrayed to the world and how they will eventually view themselves, which in return will affect the way other people interact with them as they grow older and the opportunities they will be offered.