Study: 9-Month-Old Babies Like Gender-Specific Toys

Daily Wire 4 August 2016
Family First Comment: Oops. That stuffs up the “gender stereotypes and norms” problem that some academics are concerned about. It’s actually just ‘human nature’! 

A recent academic study published in the journal of Infant and Child Development found biological and developmental differences in the way boys and girls responded to objects in their environment.

The research, called “Preferences for ‘Gender-typed’ Toys in Boys and Girls Aged 9 to 32 Months,” was conducted at City University London and UCL. It found 9-month-old infants preferred to play with toys specific to their own gender and demonstrated significant sex differences in a familiar nursery setting.

The authors of the study, Brenda K. Tood, John A. Barry, and Sara A. O. Thommessen, report having observed 101 boys and girls in UK nurseries between the ages of 9 to 32 months and introducing them to a variety of gender-specific toys without their parents around. The children were categorized in three groups: “9 to 17 months, when infants can first demonstrate toy preferences in independent play (N = 40); 18 to 23 months, when critical advances in gender knowledge occur (N = 29); and 24 to 32 months, when knowledge becomes further established (N = 32).”

The toys used in the study included a doll, a pink teddy bear, and a cooking pot for girls; and a car, a blue teddy bear, a shovel and a ball for boys.

Child participants as young as 9 months old, long before having reached the age of gender knowledge, already demonstrated sex-specific toy preferences. Interestingly, both boys and girls demonstrated increasing preference for toys stereotyped for boys as they got older and became more advanced in gender knowledge.
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