“Reproducing (and Disrupting) Heteronormativity: Gendered Sexual Socialization in Preschool Classrooms,” ...
“[H]eteronormativity permeates” these classrooms to such an extent that preschoolers learn “that boys have gendered power over girls’ bodies,” Gansen writes in the abstract.
...She wrote that teachers affect preschoolers’ gendered sexuality by “actively promoting or encouraging heterosexual discourses and practices” (facilitative), “sanctioning” them (restrictive), acknowledging or accepting “counter hegemonic performances of sexuality (disruptive) and “ignoring sexualized behaviors” without punishing children (passive).
...However, if two children of the same sex were holding hands or engaging in the same behaviors as the opposite-sex couples the teachers had invented, the teachers wouldn’t actively encourage them to be in a relationship, as they did with children of the opposite sex.
Instead, they would insist the same-sex children were “friends.”
The study cited multiple incidents that seemed to stunt children from fully exploring gender roles, according to Gansen, most prominently when the children played house..."