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Do Boys and Girls Play Differently

by melis (follow)
Play (86)      Kids (125)      Children (51)      Toys (31)      Gender (2)      Stereotypes (1)     
The question arises if it is right to talk about stereotypes when it comes to children. The truth is that from an early age parents can notice, especially if they have more kids, the difference in behavior in their baby girl and baby boy. Usually it is the girls who sit around and play with their dolls, dressing them in different shades of pink, while boys are steering their little trucks on the floor, all around the house. Is this kind of behavior something that we are born with, or should we blame the modern parenting techniques for bringing children up in such manner that they grow up to act so differently, and in such pattern?

It starts as early as dressing them differently pink ones is for the girl, and the blue one is for the boy. It seems like such a simple division, and yet, it creates many problems. Although there are some parents who try to avoid it, through history, even the science has proven that women in their twenties, no matter what upbringing they had, preferred shades of red and pink over all others, and that it has something to do with the structure of the eye and female sensitivity to lighter shades of colors.

Once kids start playing, we might even talk about differences when it comes to the toys they have and choose. Stereotypically, when out shopping for our children, we would go for dolls and tea sets for the girls, and cars, Legos, robots, and action figures for the boys. Girls seem to grow up combing their Barbie’s hair, while boys tend to run around kicking the ball playing what might be a kind of soccer. If you want to avoid attribution of expected gender roles to your child, there is a large assortment of toys that some might refer to as gender neutral, numerous educational toys for early age numerous educational toys for early age like puzzles, building blocks, or books. The role of such toys is to develop cognitive and motor skills of every child and we can agree that it should be main goal of every parent, regardless of whether you have a daughter or a son.

Another thing that some might notice is that it is mostly boys who tend to play more actively, while the girls are calmer, and their play is usually restricted to one place. It is boys who like war games, and tend to be more competitive, while girls are more cooperative and strive for equality among the people who are in their play group. While observing this behavior, some researches even decided to study male and female speech, and what they found was that men tend to prefer a more egocentric conversation pattern, while women almost exclusively include others in the conversation.

Could it be that because of the above-mentioned patterns parents tend to worry more about girls and their wellbeing, because “boys are tough, they can take care of themselves”, what automatically classifies one as the weaker and other as stronger sex?

Of course, all of this cannot be applied to boys and girls in general, as there are always exceptions, ones that do not fit the mold: girls who like playing with toy cars, and boys who would gladly play cooking.



Girl playing with truck


So is it all already written in our genes? The way most of us have been brought up will have us believe it, and toy manufacturers are hell-bent on marketing toward two separate genders. They will have us believe that girls are emotionally-driven, and “boys will be boys”. We know now that these are learned behaviors, and both prepare children psychologically to be slaves to commercialism and toxic relationships their entire lives. To quote the amazing Roseanne, “These (baseball and bat) are girl’s things, Darlene, so long as a girl is using them”.



#Play
#Toys
#Gender
#Children
#Stereotypes
#Kids
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