MSN‘s HealthDay reporter Jenifer Goodwin reports on research out of London’s City University that found stereotypical gender preferences in babies as young as nine months old. While we may like to think that we live in an increasingly gender-neutral world, where children of both sexes are raised to ignore limiting stereotypes, that may not be the case. At least not yet. When presented with a selection of toys, baby boys in the study ignored the dolls and went for the trucks and balls. Baby girls in the sample group grabbed the dolls and plastic food. The research went further, testing the traditional boy/girl color divide of blue and pink. Baby boys were shown a blue teddy bear and pink one. That experiment produced inconclusive results, as the boys showed no interest in the teddy bears of either color, while baby girls were attracted to either color teddy. It’s still too early in the research process to determine if these gender divides are innate preferences, or acquired early in life. However, the article does point to other research that detects gender-specific behavior in babies as young as one day. Whatever the root, it can’t be denied that a real gender divide establishes itself incredibly early in childhood development.
Guess it’s true that boys will be boys. Even babies know it.