Playing Horsey: Gender Trends

Figure 1.-- Here is a photo postcard. There are two groups of American children playing horsey. One group with girls, the other with boys, ready for a horse race. We can see that the two girls in the front are harnassed together. Notice how they are holding hands. The third girl at the rear holds the reins. Notice her pouch. Perhaps she is delivering the mail. The boys are pparently waiting their turn. The postcard is undated, but looks like the 1910s.

Playing horsey seems to have been primarily a boys' game, but we do see girls playing as well. Here we suspect having older brothers was a factor. We have found a few images of girls playing horsey. Much more common, however, are images of boys playing horsey are groups of boys with only a girl or two. Here chronological trends complicate our assessment. The images from the 19th century are mostly staged studio image. We have actual snap shots from the 20th century which provide more relaistic play images. Theese are early-20th cenbtury images. After World War I in the 1920s, olaying horsey decilned in popularity.


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Created: 2:13 AM 4/20/2010
Last updated: 2:13 AM 4/20/2010