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    • scotts50

      Dearest Hillary, Several studies suggest a biological basis for toy preferences between males and females, specifically related to the level of exposure of certain hormones (eg. androgen) during gestation. In fact, a study of 3 and 4 month old boys found that testosterone levels correlated with how much more time was spent looking at male-typical toys such as trucks and balls compared with female-typical toys such as dolls, as measured by an eye tracker. One study by a group of British researchers found that girls with a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, who experienced abnormally high levels of the male sex hormone androgen while in the womb, prefer to play with male-typical toys. In fact, studies involving rhesus monkeys further bolster a biological basis for such behavior. In experiments, male adolescent monkeys also prefer to play with wheeled vehicles while the females prefer dolls — and their societies say nothing on the matter. Kim Wallen, a psychologist at Emory University who has studied the gender-specific toy preferences of young rhesus monkeys, states, “The striking thing about the looking data shows that the attraction to these objects occurs very early in life, before it’s likely to have been socialized.”

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