Coming home from work today, suddenly I was struck with a thought – what is it with little boys and their toys? Every boy in the age group one to ten that I have seen, including BB till date loves their vehicle toys. Be it a bus, car, train or plane, they hold one in their hands, even while sleeping!
Is this something that is genetically embedded in them? While minoring in Psychology aeons ago, I learnt of the “Nature versus Nurture Theory” and when I realised I was pregnant with twins, I was determined that in my case, it will be nature which determines BB & GG’s individual and specific character and personality traits and not nurture as both will be brought up in the exact same environment.
Toys used to be gender neutral and had to be shared. There was nothing really that called out to gender-specific toys, but we could see nature fighting her way through quite early. BB loved vehicles – anything with a wheel, he wanted. When we left the house to go out, he would quickly come carrying as many cars,/trains as his little hand could hold and insist he wanted all of them to come out with him. He went through a ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ where he managed get almost all the major characters. It does not help that S is an equal, enthusiastic partner, who loves to buy these toys for his son. He even had some cars which he had kept all these years! Big boys and their toys!! Now BB has graduated to playing with his cars and planes on an online world.
So is it our environment and the external world which reinforces gender stereotypes? Maybe that’s true as advertisements almost always show boys playing with more aggressive toys and girls being shown as more gentle. Why can’t boys be the more gentle ones? While reading for this post, I came across some very good articles which highlight this gender imbalance. Here’s one and another. And they wonder why girls don’t go in for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) subjects in school!