When my colleague Corinne Purtill bought her doll-loving child an engineering kit, she needed to laugh if the then-three-year-old used the current as a hairbrush. For many Corinne’s efforts at gender-neutral parenting, her child demonstrably enjoyed some typically feminine toys.
A research published (paywall) in November 2017 implies that these kinds of girly doll preferences aren’t merely a reflection of gendered social pressures.
A meta-analysis of research, reviewing 16 studies about the subject that collectively included some 1,600 kiddies, unearthed that both biology and society affect males’ and girls’ doll choices. The scientists discovered a large impact size (1.03 for guys having fun with boys’ toys a lot more than girls, and 0.9 for women having fun with girls toys significantly more than men; any such thing above 0.8 is regarded as “large”) across geographic areas.
“The size of intercourse variations in children’s choices for male-typed and female-typed toys would not be seemingly smaller in studies conducted much more egalitarian nations,” says Brenda Todd, a research co-author and senior lecturer in therapy at City University London. Continue reading