literally the world
reminder that when my sister was told that our 6 yr old nephew likes ‘hatchimals’ (where I think the object is to nurture the toy till it hatches a plushie? or something like that) and wants one, her response was ‘but that’s a girl’s toy!’ and when i said why, what makes it a girl toy?, she responded ‘well you just wait till he brings it to school with him and gets made fun of, lol’. with a tone of, that is only right. there is nothing wrong with this idea at all. ?????
she literally thought ‘oh, he likes something i think isn’t meant for his gender, but if you insist it’s nbd, I can’t wait to see him be bullied out of liking it – and potentially into feeling bad about himself because he’ll still like it but wont feel like it’s okay to – by other kids’.
so funny. /sarcasm/
There’s actually been an interesting experiment with toddlers and gender roles biasing interests.
As I recall, basically ‘present a mixed-gender group of kids with a bunch of toys, see what they play with,’ both under the conditions of the kids being in a room with adults, and only observed via one-way mirrors so thinking they’re unobserved.
The findings? Toddlers typically perform gender roles – a majority playing with ‘gender appropriate’ toys – when they think adults are observing, but when they are unaware of being observed the gender split of kids playing with ‘masculine’ toys and ‘feminine’ toys is about 50:50 regardless of the gender of the child.
AKA even by the age of 2-3 toddlers are a) aware of society’s gender roles; b) perform those gender roles for the benefit of adults despite; c) not having gender role based preferences themselves.