Boys and Girls Are Different

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Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


By: Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.

Fort Fairfield Journal, June 30, 2010

Did you know that boys and girls prefer gender-specific toys? Throughout the world, boys and girls play with different kinds of toys. Boys typically like to play with cars and trucks, girls typically choose to play with dolls, kitchen implements, and household items. The traditional sociological explanation says that boys and girls are socialized by their parents; we give girls dolls so they learn to play with them, we give boys trucks so they learn to play with them. But, a growing body of scientific evidence based on research suggests that boy and girl toy preferences - like the ability to distinguish good from evil - are inbred, inborn.

Researchers have found that boy and girl monkeys actually show the same kind of preferences as boy and girl humans. For example, you take a boy and a girl monkey in a cage, you put in a doll and a truck and the boy will go to the truck, while the girl will go to the doll. We're talking monkeys, here.

They also found that six month old babies in a similar experiment, when shown a truck or a doll will gravitate toward their gender-specific preference. So, the boys generally go for the trucks, cars, airplanes, the noisy things that move and are mechanical, while the girls go for the nurturing toys - the dolls. The way they tell what babies prefer when just shown pictures is how long their stare is affixed to the particular image. The girls will look longer at the dolls and boys will look longer at the trucks, indicating their level of interest and preference in each item. You can also put a baby in a room and he or she will crawl to the toy that matches their gender. These are kids who have not been "socialized" so it appears the preference is inborn.

This is fascinating stuff because it flies in the face of a lot of the assumptions that were made in the 1960's and 70's when they tried to say boys and girls were all the same, there's no difference. I've got to tell you, as a girl I'm glad there are some differences. I'm glad you men are manly, I appreciate that about you. I like those gender differences, I think they make a lot of sense and if we didn't have them we'd be in a whole lot of trouble.

This editorial was transcribed and adapted for print from a recent Katherine Albrecht radio program, by David Deschesne, with her permission.  Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D. is a syndicated radio talk show host on the Genesis Communication Network. Listen to her program live daily, or download her podcast for listening at any time at Katherine’s website is: