Some social critics believe that inclinations to gender-specific toys are instinctive to a child. However, the results of a recent study conducted on babies contradict this long-standing notion.
A paper from the University of Sydney revealed that boys aren’t naturally fond of “manly” toys. The babies were shown photos of human dolls, cars, and stoves. The researchers then calculated the time the children took staring at the pictures. It turned out that dolls caught the baby boys’ attention more than cars and trucks did.
A lot of parents panic at the thought that their boys will become “sissy” or effeminate when they grow up if they play with dolls. The study revealed, however, that dolls are uniquely beneficial to boys’ social development. Since boys will one day grow up to become fathers, dolls can teach them how to love and nurture others. Plus, compared to trucks and cars, dolls come with different outfits and accessories which feed youngsters’ creative yearnings. Dolls also give boys the freedom to choose their interests confidently, and they can carry this to adulthood when deciding on their occupations and hobbies.
In addition, since doll playing teaches boys to love honestly and openly, taking their toys away would make them feel that showing care is wrong and that they should be ashamed of it. So the next time you see your boy play with a doll, just let him. After all, it won’t hurt to have a strongly empathetic family member.