We all firmly believe that girls like to play with dolls and boy prefer car, truck, gun and so on. But in a recent study it was found that infant boys like dolls over other mechanical toys like cars. The researchers from the University of Western Sydney conducted the study using a technology known as state-of-the-art eye-tracker. The study revealed that the infant baby of 5 months stared at the dolls for longer duration than the trucks and showed an inclination towards playing with dolls over cars or boy like toys.
The lead author of the study says:
Everyone loves buying dolls for baby girls and cars and trucks for baby boys — it’s simply what we do.
For the study, 24 girls and 24 boys (4-5 months old infant) and 24 adult girls and 24 adult male were chosen to put up with six experiments. Under the trail, the chosen members were shown the images of male and female humans, dolls as well as cars, stoves and guns. The team determined the toy selection depending upon for how long and how regularly the person gazed at a selective toy and are more likely to play with that toy.
The study claimed that the gender specific selections are not developed at infant age of 4-5 months. The infant boys were found staring longer on the dolls over trucks and cars. They even liked the images of male and female humans irrespective of the fact whether they are living or non-living doll face.
As per the Dr Escudero the state of the art eye tracking technology affirmed that the gender specific selections are not developed at the tender age of 5 months and changes in their hormone levels, intellectual development or social pressure are the factors that help shaping these preferences. Society plays an important role in pushing the boys to play with trucks, car and girls to play with dolls and other homemaker games. However, hormones are equally believed to be playing a role in gender related selection of toys. Earlier studies in the same topic shows that the hormones present in the womb help babies building these toy preferences soon after the birth even without gendered socialization.
Studies done on monkeys revealed that on introduction to hormones in the womb guide the monkey’s preferences of toy that develop later in the life. The male monkeys were seen liking wheeled toys, whereas the female liked playing with dolls.
There is still lot of scope for further research to understand what prompts boys to develop attraction for male related toys. Nevertheless next time you plan to buy a gift for baby keep these points in consideration and don’t be surprised if you see your baby boy playing with Barbie doll than the construction toys you bought for him.
Source: Medical Daily