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Keith

Argh, see my jealousy! I tried to talk Sarah into a video monitor, but she kept saying no. I'm now sending her this URL to say "SEE! I WAS RIGHT!"

Anne

I've thought a lot about gender stereotypes and kids and why perceive such strong gender differences.

My son liked pink and butterflies when he was three. He wanted to be an angel instead of a shepherd at the Christmas pageant. After a couple years in school, his changed his favorite color to red and told me "butterflies are for girls." Kids, especially boys, who have non-stereotypical likes are quickly set right by peer and adult pressure. The adult pressure sometimes annoys me, even though I understand that we all try to enforce certain social rules at times. The preschool teacher told Henry, "pink is for girls." I taught him that pink is for everybody. It helped when my male cousin came over one night wearing a hot pink polo shirt. I argued with another parent at church that boys could be angels--I reminded her of Gabriel, one of the most important boy angels.

I think people may have a tendency to take any evidence supportive of gender stereotypes and say, "look it's really true!" while discarding evidence to the contrary. It's been shown in psychological studies that people look for evidence that supports their beliefs--I think it's called the confirmation bias.

Anyway, I'm relieved that my son has turned out to be gender-typical. He loves his video and computer games, reads sci fi and nonfiction, and doesn't pay extra attention to hygiene. I wish I was more accepting of children's individuality but I feel it will be easier this way.

Suzanne

Toddler in Chief adores cars and trucks and anything with wheels too. He also likes having hair clips in his hair and pretend lipliner on his lips (because that's what mommy does). He's just emulating the world around him. There are lots of cars outside and lots of lipstick inside. I don't discourage or encourage either behavior. Eventually, as Anne pointed out, his peers will influence his likes and dislikes. In the meantime, TIC will continue to enjoy cars as well as hair clips and lipliner. And I'm okay with both ;-)

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