Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monkeys choose trucks and dolls

Feminists used to argue that gender is a social construct, and girls only play with dolls because of our sexist patriarchal society. There is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Here is the latest:
When offered the choice of playing with either a doll or a toy truck, girls will typically pick the doll and boys will opt for the truck. This isn't just because society encourages girls to be nurturing and boys to be active, as people once thought. In experiments, male adolescent monkeys also prefer to play with wheeled vehicles while the females prefer dolls — and their societies say nothing on the matter.

The monkey research, conducted with two different species in 2002 and 2008, strongly suggested a biological explanation for children's toy preferences. In recent years, the question has become: How and why does biology make males (be they monkey or human) prefer trucks, and females, dolls?

New and ongoing research suggests babies' exposure to hormones while they are in the womb causes their toy preferences to emerge soon after birth.
Diibert comments on how people were wrong:
When I was a kid, all enlightened people knew that gender stereotypes were the reason that boys preferred playing with trucks and girls preferred playing with dolls. The only people who didn't believe that gender stereotypes controlled childhood behavior were the uneducated and . . . parents trying to raise their kids in stereotype-free conditions.

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