Boys & Boy Toys

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I started down the Path of Parenthood with few, if any, toys. We got a stuffed Tigger for our oldest son’s birth, but that was about it. Twelve years and four boys later, our toy room is a stereotypical boy haven.

In one corner, Tonka trucks and farm toys. In another, wooden blocks and Lincoln logs. Matchbox cars litter the floor and toy guns peek out from the toy box. Random dinosaurs, poker chips and action figures — not to mention light sabers and train tracks — complete the look.

I did not intend to have this many boy toys. And, to be fair, my boys have played with some “girly” toys as well. They loved Care Bears. They liked the Winx club. We even have dolls and a plastic babycare center.

Overwhelmingly, though, their toys scream, “male!” Is it because I unconsciously push my boys toward boy toys, or because of their own innate preferences?

A 2010 study suggests that hormones are to blame. Researchers measured testosterone and estrogen levels of three- to four-month-old babies; they also used eye-tracking software to guage the babies’ level of interest in a doll vs. a ball. The results indicate that babies with higher testosterone levels prefer the ball.

What do you think? Do you think boys show a natural inclination toward “boy toys?”

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