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Gender segregation refers to the separation of girls and boys into same-gender groups. In childhood, boys and girls demonstrate a preference for same-sex playmates, resulting in gender-segregated play in public contexts. Gender segregation is generally thought to be voluntary and initiated by both boys and girls starting in early childhood. Gender segregation is viewed as contributing to gender socialization. As a result of gender segregation, boys and girls have different experiences, and through gender-segregated play, girls and boys develop different communication patterns and interpersonal skills. Thus, gender segregation contributes to the construction of gendered behavior and potentially promotes gender power differences and gender inequalities. Gender segregation may contribute to gender adversity and gender antagonism. Possible causes of gender segregation are examined in this entry. ...

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