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Boys And Their Toys January 11, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in News, Tech / Science.
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If you’re a parent hoping to shield your child from sex stereotypes by giving them gender-neutral toys to play with, you may be wasting your time.

Recent research by Texas A&M University in College Station, conducted on a small group of children aged 3 – 4 months, indicates that hormones in the womb and in very early development may affect play preferences more than we thought.

It is already known that boys and girls show differences in their play preferences by the age of 3.  Boys are more strongly drawn to balls,vehicles and construction toys, and prefer playing in large groups.  Girls on the other hand are more likely to play with fewer individuals.  But by this age the debate rages on regarding how much of this is down to nature or nurture.

However, in this latest study, where the children’s interest was tracked using eye-tracking software, those exposed to higher levels of testosterone showed a greater preference for groups and for animations of a bouncing ball, as opposed to animations of a doll.

The girls’ behaviour appeared unaffected by current or prenatal hormone levels.

Of course, this research won’t sway us in our convictions.  We’re getting little Jimmy that Barbie Malibu playset whether he likes it or not.  And he’d better damn well use it, or he’s going straight on the naughty step.

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