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Fifty Years Of Leftist Social Tinkering #Fail, Children’s Toy Preferences Remain Associated With Their Biological Sex

Fifty Years Of Leftist Social Tinkering #Fail, Children’s Toy Preferences Remain Associated With Their Biological Sex

Little girls like to play with dolls, and little boys like to play with toy trucks. Who knew?

Despite decades of leftist social engineering, it turns out that—generally speaking—little girls most enjoy playing with dolls, while little boys most enjoy playing with toy trucks. Moreover, according to a recent study, this tendency to prefer toys associated with “traditional gender roles” has remained steady for 50 years.

The Big Think reports:

For decades, studies have shown that boys and girls generally prefer playing with toys typically associated with their biological sex: toy trucks for boys and dolls for girls, to give a rough example.

These results have remained remarkably stable over the past 50 years, according to a 2020 meta-analysis of research on gender differences in toy preferences. Published in Archives of Sexual Behavior and titled “The Magnitude of Children’s Gender‐Related Toy Interests Has Remained Stable Over 50 Years of Research,” the analysis examined 75 previous studies, 113 effect sizes, and a range of toy preference measurements.

The authors, Jac T. M. Davis and Melissa Hines, found “a broad consistency of results across the large body of research on children’s gender-related toy preferences: children showed large and reliable preferences for toys that were related to their own gender. Thus, according to our review, gender-related toy preferences may be considered a well-established finding.”

. . . . Davis and Hines concluded:

It may be tempting to think that social changes over time might be reducing children’s play with gender-related toys, given arguments that play with a broader set of toys would be beneficial for both boys and girls. Unfortunately, however, broad change in the social roles of men and women do not seem to have influenced children’s toy choices, perhaps because they have been counteracted by stronger marketing of different toys to girls and boys over recent time. If society wants girls and boys to play with the full range of toys, more targeted action is probably required.

. . . . But no matter what society wants, it’s worth noting that there seem to be some biological drivers behind children’s preferences for gender-typical toys.

For example, studies have shown that babies tend to prefer toys oriented to their own gender, a finding that suggests their preference is innate because they’re in the pre-socialization stage of development. Supporting that argument are studies showing that baby monkeys also display gender-typical toy preferences.

Still, it’s easy to see how social pressures might affect kids’ toy preferences as they grow up. So, the question of why kids prefer the toys that they do likely boils down to a familiar answer: a tangled mix of environmental and biological factors.

“It would be extreme to claim zero influence of biology on gender differences in toy choices, and the research community is still divided on how important biology and social factors are,” Davis told Big Think.

The nature of the study apparently is limited to toys that are made and marketed for each gender, so the researchers don’t focus on toys that I think of as gender-neutral, like the Lincoln Logs, science kits, Spirograph, and Lego sets that I, as a little girl, loved just as much as my doll carriage (that I typically loaded up with books, not dolls) and my Easy Bake Oven.

It might be interesting, and in many ways more illuminating, to see a study on the ways that little girls and little boys play with these and other gender-neutral toys. For example, do little boys build Lincoln Log “forts” to defend, while little girls build little towns, fairy princess castles, or shopping malls?  Do little girls build pretty Lego artistic designs and “homes,” while boys build Lego monsters and killer (or just cool) robots? Do little girls use their Spirograph to create pretty flowers in pinks and purples, while little boys use theirs to create “death stars” in darker color combinations?

Wouldn’t we learn more about how much biology vs. social conditioning affect play if we looked at how girls and boys play with toys that don’t come with as much gendered social and marketing baggage?

But I digress.  It seems pretty unsurprising that children, even after decades of leftist attempts to “de-girl” and “de-boy” them, prefer toys that reflect traditional gender roles associated with their biological sex.

What I don’t quite see is why this is a “problem” the regressive left wants to “fix.”

People have thoughts.


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Sex, sex-correlated gender attributes (i.e. physical and mental), and nominally social constructs not limited to clothing styles, follow a normal distribution. Men and women are equal in rights and complementary in Nature/nature.

This is probably why the current strategy is to remove the parents from the equation. Their job is birthing. Once that is completed, the larva proceeds down the assembly line to “government” where only appropriate toys will be provided for them

Of course the Communists will take this as a challenge to double down on their mad efforts to creat the New Non-Binary Person.

In the 1960s the terrorist Weather Underground forced its members to experiment with homosexuality. Now the Weather Underground mentality controls the Federal government, Federal law enforcement, education at all levels, the media, major corporations, and much of the religious establishment. The forced social engineering is just getting started.

Now that this issue has finally been resolved, maybe they will find time to address more serious problems. Like inventing non-adhesive glue. They seem to be related.

Every boy in America who sees Pelosi’s face gets an urge to get his hands on a toy M50.machine gun.

“… a tangled mix of environmental and biological factors.”

Just can’t let go of the narrative. They have to spin the evidence at all costs.

This reads a lot like the results were written before the data were examined and ‘groomed’ for consistency. If you look at the very narrow case of ‘playing with toys’ perhaps they’re right, but you expand that out to ‘buying toys’ and a few thousand collectors of Star Wars and such ‘figures’ will beg to differ. Add in age and the numbers get even more distorted. Toy companies don’t really care who plays with their toys as long as they *sell* much like fishing lure companies sell colorful man-toy things to attract customers. Hasbro for example managed to keep its head above water for much of the last ten years off a certain pony franchise which sold like hotcakes primarily to teenaged boys and college students.

Sales != Preferences

A great deal of pressure was applied to me in school to play sports but my interest was music. Coaches, some teachers, parents and classmates resorted to accusations of being feminine or gay to coerce me into playing to prove otherwise. Their viewpoint was binary, e.g., music was for girls, sports were for boys, and since my passion was for an avocation seen as a girl’s domain, I must be closeted. It led to a few fights where I usually gave better than what I got.

Out of college, I went to work in the aerospace industry, where I worked with a young woman who was a welder, another a truck driver, female managers, engineers, etc. None were confused about their gender – they simply were interested in vocations and positions that once were the sole domain of men.

It isn’t male and female that need to be de-gendered or rendered non-specific, rather, it is vocations, avocations, occupations – ideas and notions – that need to be disassociated from gender stereotyping.

    hopeful in reply to MrE. | May 22, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    “Their viewpoint was ignorant e.g., music was for girls, sports were for boys,” Fixed it for you 🙂

    Gee, I always thot Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven were men. Guess they didn’t know that.

Jordan Peterson comments about this subject (innate differences in interests between men and women). He says it’s been well-established that the two interests of men and women that diverge most greatly are men’s interest in “things” and women’s interest in “people.” He goes on to remark that of the two factors that most greatly regulate behavior, “nature” and “nurture”, when “nurture” is largely removed in an egalitarian society (such as those those found in Scandinavian countries) by an “everyone is encouraged to follow their muse” attitude (women are not purposefully pointed towards STEM, and men are not purposefully pointed towards nursing, for example), natural tendencies in job choices maximize. These countries end up with even more gender-roll conformance in job choice (e.g., men to STEM/construction, women to social welfare/nursing), instead of less, as was predicted by those who promote egalitarianism. This effect was not anticipated because those who promoted egalitarianism were convinced that it was “nurture” (in the form of societal pressure) that stood in the way of women breaking into traditional male jobs.

Morning Sunshine | May 21, 2021 at 1:40 pm

my oldest was a boy. I am a SAH mom, and so he spent most of his time with me. he saw me caring for his little sister, so he wanted a baby also. He got a doll. He even tried to nurse it. He was copying ME. he was mimicking the most important person in his world. By the time he had turned 5, his “baby” was used for launching off balconies to discover physics and as an art canvas for decoration. By 8, that “baby” was long forgotten in favor of homemade swords from sticks and pool noodles. My girls had “babies” of their own, and heaven forbid you use them to learn about gravity. No, those babies were fed and put to bed and clothes changes and matching bedding clear until 10 or so, and now grown into teenagers, my girls still would not let anyone launch their dolls off a deck, even thought the dolls have been put away for years.

My neighbor is a car geek. He buys cars at auction with salvage titles and dead rear bumpers. He fixes them up and sells them. His little 3-yo boy is always under the hood with dad and older brother; his house is littered with toy cars. My boys – meh, they liked cars but they did not see anyone in their lives LOVE cars, so they didn’t care.

Another neighbor owns an asphalt business. He has 4 girls. They wear princess dresses and happily play on the big equipment: dump trucks, etc. That is what they know, and they love the big trucks.

I suspect it is more what is AROUND a child and what is important to the family than the color of the toys

    “I suspect it is more what is AROUND a child and what is important to the family than the color of the toys…”

    Yes, that and testosterone and DNA. It takes a single mother rabid feminist to overcome it. Of course, they create Ted Bundys in the process.

“I suspect it is more what is AROUND a child and what is important to the family than the color of the toys.”

I’m sure that would apply to violence, using drugs and never seeing anybody wearing work shoes, as well

YES, boys and girls are different. Why is that stupid communists find it so difficult to grasp such simple truths?

    Oversoul Of Dusk in reply to Ironclaw. | May 21, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Because they’re stupid communists.
    “Stupid is as stupid does”, as Mr. Gump told us. And “Commie is as commie does” works just as well.

    henrybowman in reply to Ironclaw. | May 22, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    Because the entire premise of communism is that human nature in toto can be changed for the better, totally eliminating sloth and greed, and producing a new man whose only operating philosophy is altruism. Their problem is before they can even get close to eliminating vice in the general population, their own ruling class concentrates it and putrefies from it.

    When the basis of your philosophy is that you can remove all evil from the hearts of all men, a little thing like gender preference should be the work of a weekend.

      hopeful in reply to henrybowman. | May 22, 2021 at 7:35 pm

      “When the basis of your philosophy is that you can remove all evil from the hearts of all men” except your own, of course. Your evil is good.

A study only a surprise to those not having children. One of the mysteries/miracles of my life is realizing that I could see, retrospectively, the personalities of my younger siblings/children/grandchildren virtually from birth.
News flash: Girls and boys are different.

Albigensian | May 21, 2021 at 8:12 pm

Bbut they told us gender was socially constructed …

George_Kaplan | May 21, 2021 at 11:40 pm

The problem is the Left holds that no differences exist between girls and boys, that differences are only observable after parents have gendered their children – rough play, robots or tanks, and blue attire for boys, gentle play, dolls or cookery stuff and pink attire for girls.

The only way to prove or disprove such a belief would be to deliberately apply atypical or outright abusive parenting and see what outcomes ensue. Except child abuse is illegal. And of course what the results mean will be interpreted through ideological lenses. Girls all saphics, boys all sodomites? Normal healthy outcome in the eyes of the Left. Girls like ‘boys toys’ and boys preferring ‘girls toys’? Success. Girls still preferring girls toys and boys still preferring boys toys? Further study required.

henrybowman | May 22, 2021 at 4:42 am

“Despite decades of leftist social engineering, it turns out that—generally speaking—little girls most enjoy playing with dolls, while little boys most enjoy playing with toy trucks.”

And leftist social engineers should watch out what they wish for, or they might get it — before trucks and cars and planes were invented, boys were all about wood swords, broomstick rifles, and whittling knives.

And hoops. I’ve never understood the attraction of hoops.

    hopeful in reply to henrybowman. | May 22, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    Results of this kind of study has been in the psych lit since at least 1950. Not only that, bt little girls don’t like to play with boys because ” they’re too rough”

texansamurai | May 22, 2021 at 9:00 am

am no child rearing expert but my earliest memory is from about three years old–before they can speak, believe children experience the world visually and via tactile stimuli–mom’s body looks and feels different from dad’s body–mom’s body is soft/supple, dad’s body is harder, stronger–as they grow, believe children identify/compare their own body to those of their parents, identify/comprehend which type they possess and events proceed from there

regards what they are around(environment), believe that is the province of the parents and is the most critical part of parenting–believe children at that point are in “record/observe/emulate” mode–believe that is where the building of character begins

because male children typically don’t see dad dressing/playing with “girl” dolls and don’t see mom changing tires/playing with yard tools/machines, etc, they surmise that “men” have a certain function in the scheme of things and “women” have a certain function as well and since they have a clear, visual, tactile sense of which body type they possess, they endeavour to “learn” what men/women “are” or “do”

re-reading the above am not certain explains anything of merit–what the hell, it’s saturday morning

    I get what you are saying, texansamurai! I think that there is a lot of truth in that, that kids do what they see their parents do and emulate it. I mention in my post that I loaded up my doll carriage with books, but I didn’t mention that they were really first for my dolls, but I became an avid reader at a really young age . . . because my mom was a reader. She read to me, and of course, she read for her own enjoyment. I’d see her reading, and I wanted to read, too, so I do think that is a huge factor.

    That said, I remember being at my dad’s one Christmas when my niece and nephew were still young. Dinosaurs were all the rage then, so the kids were getting toy dinosaurs as presents. I was amused to watch how they played with them. My nephew was “grr, arghing” and jumping his dinosaurs around to attack and eat the other dinosaurs, while my niece tucked hers in her Barbie bed for a nice nap. I can attest that my brother-in-law never ever attacks and eats other people, and that my sister is not big on naps (except for the kids, what mother doesn’t love nap-time?). Anecdotal evidence only goes so far, of course, but hey, it’s Saturday morning! 🙂