Nature versus nurture

After having two boys and then a baby girl (age 2), people sometimes ask if I have any insight on the nature versus nurture question for why boys act like boys and girls act like girls. I usually say that I don’t since we likely subconsciously treat the girl differently, but I have noticed some interesting trends in how she plays with the boys’ toys. She often pulls cakes out of the hull of the aircraft carrier and sets them on the deck to cool. Also, the ferocious looking dinosaurs are all friends and have their diapers changed regularly.

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One Response to Nature versus nurture

  1. I’ve found that after 8 kids, there are definitely some things that are genetic. Although my oldest (a girl) wasn’t a huge doll fan, her brother after her was an ardent admirer of all things boys.

    Somehow at only 8 months old, he knew how to play with cars and trucks, and little people, just like any other little boy – even though he didn’t attend daycare and hadn’t seen other kids play with them.

    Not that all boys play with cars and all girls with dolls of course.

    I think even bigger than what kids play with is how they play. I find boys (including the bands of neighborhood boys that visit our house) to be pretty independent. They just get out there and play: digging huge holes, building forts, and occasionally wrestling each other.

    The girls on the other hand, follow me around and talk constantly. They seek constant feedback on everything, often more than once. They love to involve not just me, but others in their play. And when they fight, they almost always do so verbally – and in ways that continually surprise (and occasionally shock) me.

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