The gender stereotypes found in the toy aisle may merely be a reinforcement of genetic preferences, the Daily Mail reports. In a recent study of infants aged 3 to 8 months, boys expressed more interest in a toy truck, whereas girls preferred a doll—leading researchers to believe the predilection for certain types of playthings may be hardwired and linked to prehistoric survival roles.
The study, which used eye-tracking technology to gauge how long and how often the infants fixated on each object, reinforces a previous study of green vervet monkeys, in which the male monkeys spent more time playing with typically male toys like cars and balls, while the females gravitated toward dolls and pots. Both sexes played equally with such gender-neutral toys as picture books.
(Read more gender roles stories.)