Twenty years ago, Hasbro, a huge American toy manufacturing company, tested a children's home they were building for an audience of both boys and girls. They soon realized that boys and girls did not interact with the house in the same way. Girls dressed dolls, kissed them, and played in the house. The boys used the baby carriages as catapults on the roof. A manager from Hasbro gave a new explanation: "Boys and girls are different".
Toys are mixed until what age?
In the stores, this is the consensus in the baby department. Up to 18 months: cuddly toys, toy boards, rattles, carriers ... play the perfect mix. Often during the first year of kindergarten, boys and girls have fun together at the store, they with the kitchen, they with the garage, and the toys naturally go from one camp to the other. But the older the children get, the less we mix. And the partitioning intervenes more and more prematurely.
An essential part of a child's development
As soon as, around the age of 3, he becomes aware of his gender and the boy-girl difference, the child becomes normative. Until 6 years old, he needs to identify with the social archetypes of his gender, to imitate the parent of the same sex as him. These are like tools that help him develop so-called masculine or feminine skills.
All girls, around the age of 5, go through an ironing board and princess dress period, even if mom is a bus driver and wears jeans on the weekends. A little boy who loves to play dinner party with his sister won't touch it in the presence of his friends!
Do girls and boys play differently?
Nature or education? This is the eternal question! Several studies show that hormones play a role in the preferences of games, trucks or dolls. At the same time, they sow the doubt that children's preferences for this or that game are due to society.
The differences in interest between boys and girls differ significantly from the age of 4 years. Boys may like soccer and girls may like dancing! The manufacturers Smoby and Lego have observed them in their market research.
"Boys like to build and destroy, they say at Lego; a 300-brick castle doesn't scare them, while girls build modestly, fine-tune the decor and imagine instead the story of the king and queen that will take place in the castle." They just keep the small cars running, they cause accidents, and a Barbie in the hands of a boy is hijacked in a kamikaze plane. You refuse to offer him a gun? He makes one out of any piece of wood. And if girls have also taken up video games, they turn away from violent games of skill or competition that involve conflict. In recent years, the "girly" trend in toys, children's literature and fashion has been very popular with girls.
Girls also like video games?
66% of players on the Nintendo DS system are girls, according to a study published by Ubisoft. The pink Nintendo DS system was the first to seduce them; before, they used to play on their brothers' systems or on the family PC. Now they are asking for it from the age of 5. To help them adopt it, Ubisoft has created a range of games that correspond to their interests.
Alexandra Ledermann, a game about horseback riding is a success, as are all the games about caring for animals, babies and the profession of stylist. But girls aren't interested in solitary video games, what they like is to play networked games with their consoles, to communicate between friends and exchange characters.
She likes boy's toys / He likes girls toys, This scares the parents...
On the contrary, it is not the case. This is probably a sign that the male function remains culturally dominant. "Don't worry, however, if he occasionally asks for a kitchen at Christmas," says Emmanuelle Rigon, psychologist, author of numerous educational books. Don't devalue this "girls' game", it won't jeopardize his virility. But if he only wants feminine toys, and if this polarization is reinforced by other behaviors (he disguises himself as a girl, draws princesses), it may mean that he is misidentified with his sex. In this case, a shrink may try to refocus his tastes, by offering him cars and figurines of male heroes, simply to facilitate his social integration at school.
Knowing that the choice between heterosexual and homosexual is not determined by toys, it emanates from much deeper roots. Therefore, it is not by forbidding Barbies that we will prevent a child from evolving towards homosexuality if he has taken the path to it. The same goes for girls".