Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Cartoon
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
By the way... there's a crossword at the bottom of this page
Monday, January 2, 2012
Will boys really be boys?
The last few days before the end of the year, I came across a couple of articles regarding gender bias in toys. One involved a video of a 4 year-old (I think) girl going into a rant about pink toys and gender oriented toys.
The other was this opinion piece in the New Your Times [link] which stirs the pot a bit. Even though it's categorized as opinion, there is nowhere to comment. Deemed too touchy a subject?
It's all about nurture vs nature. A subject I have always been curious about. Being male, I was confronted by certain expectations as I grew up. These were obviously nurture oriented. And I think the nurture crowd have a strong case. I firmly believe we program children from at least the day they are born. Maybe even before... if we suspect or know the gender of the fetus. It's been going on since humans first gathered in clans, I suspect.
Nurture, or cultural pressure, is rampant and persistent. The cultural bias is everywhere you turn. Since parents were subjected to it from infancy, it is only "natural" that they would choose to follow it with their own children. And the ones who rebelled against the social conditioning as children would likely continue that rebellion as parents.
And is it harmful to let the child "choose" its own way? After all, what does a child know of its future wants and needs?
Is it good or bad? Is it better to wait until the child shows some interest and then cater to that interest? Or is it better to steer the child toward the cultural norms for its gender? Or (and this is the real question, I think) are both ways potentially harmful? We are, after all, both social creatures and individuals. This duality creates conflict by itself, don't you agree?