Study: Children Enjoy Gender-Specific Toys at 9 Months!

34806678 - funny kids playing educational toys isolatedCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

A recent study has found that babies as young as nine months prefer toys that correspond to their biological sex, which is much too early to rule out the fact that biology must be playing a significant role in how boys and girls develop.

The Daily Mail is reporting on the research, conducted by researchers from the University College London and City University, which studied 101 infants ranging in age from nine to 32 months. During the testing, baby boys preferred to play with trucks while baby girls chose to play with cooking pots.

The tests were carried out at four multicultural nurseries in London and involved seven toys. Girls’ toys included a doll, a pink teddy bear and a cooking pot while boys’ toys consisted of a car, a blue teddy bear, a shovel and a ball. Tests were conducted when the children were engaged in free play and while seated near the selection of toys. The children were then told to “play with any of the toys that you want to.”

A record was kept of which toys were touched at intervals of five seconds to three minutes.

In the youngest age group, which included six boys and eight girls between nine and 12 months, “All of these boys played with the ball, and play with the ball accounted for 53.2 percent of their time playing with the toys,” wrote Dr. Brenda Todd of City University.

“Overall the girls aged 12 months or less chose the cooking pot most frequently: seven of these eight girls played with the cooking pot, and their play with this toy accounted for 49.8 per cent of the time playing with the toys.”

She added: “In general, the boys played with male-typed toys for longer than with female-typed toys and, conversely, the girls played with female-typed toys for longer than with male-typed toys.”

Researchers argue that because children of such a young age show a preference for gender-specific toys, this is probably due to some biological effect rather than exposure to gender stereotypes because babies have yet to have enough exposure for this to take place.

Testing conducted among the older groups showed that as boys grew older, they became even more interested in toys typical for boys while girls tended to try boys’ toys more frequently.

“The trends suggest that as boys grow older, they increasingly prefer male-typed toys, and although girls initially much prefer female-typed toys, this preference settles to a merely strong preference,” the authors write in the journal, Infant and Child Development. 

“Thus, it is interesting that not only are there sex differences in preference but also sex difference in the development of preference over time.”

So what biological factors may be at play? Researchers say this could be caused by exposure to male hormones while in the womb. For example, previous studies have found that girls exposed to higher levels of male hormones in the womb are more likely to be tomboys.

“I think the thing that is interesting is that children are very young to be showing different preferences for different toys we offered them to play with,” Dr. Todd said. “Even in that youngest group of children we were still seeing sex differences in their preferences.”

This study does not bode well for those who are pushing the narrative that people can choose their gender, or that they can remain “genderless” if they so desire. Because we were created by God as male and female, our gender is innate, engraved into the very cells of our body and tampering with this truth could explain why so few transgendered persons who undergo surgery report improved life satisfaction afterward.

Dr. McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, cites a 2011 study that tracked 324 people who had sex-assignment surgery and found a 20-fold increase in their suicide rate compared to nontransgender people.

“At the heart of the problem is confusion over the nature of the transgendered,” Dr. McHugh wrote. “’Sex change’ is biologically impossible. People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”

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This article, Study: Children Enjoy Gender-Specific Toys at 9 Months!, first appeared on Women of Grace.

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