Monkeys mimic kids in toy selections

Dec 08, 2005

A Texas A&M study suggests biological pre-wiring determines why boys and girls enjoy playing with different types of toys, not sociological factors.

Psychologist Gerianne Alexander says it's commonly believed boys and girls learn what types of toys they should like based solely on society's expectations. But she says her research brings that into question.

Alexander, who studies sex differences in behavior and biological factors that influence them, examined monkeys as they interacted with toys

She and Melissa Hines of the University of London found monkeys' toy preferences are consistent along gender lines as those of human children. Young male monkeys enjoyed playing with model cars and young female monkeys preferred dolls.

"Masculine toys and feminine toys," Alexander says, "are clearly categories constructed by people. However, our finding that male and female vervet monkeys show similar preferences for these toys as boys and girls do, suggests that what makes a 'boy toy' and a 'girl toy' is more than just what society dictates -- it suggests that there may be perceptual cues that attract males or females to particular objects such as toys."

The study appeared earlier this year in the journal "Evolution and Human Behavior."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Lethal wounds on skull may indicate 430,000-year-old murder

Related Stories

Architects to hatch Ecocapsule as low-energy house

1 hour ago

Where people call home depends on varied factors, from poverty level to personal philosophy to vanity to community pressure. Ecocapsule appears to be the result of special factors, a team of architects applying ...

California farmers agree to drastically cut water use

5 hours ago

California farmers who hold some of the state's strongest water rights avoided the threat of deep mandatory cuts when the state accepted their proposal to voluntarily reduce consumption by 25 percent amid ...

Apple may deliver ways to rev up the iPad, report says

5 hours ago

MacRumors last month said that the latest numbers from market research firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker revealed Apple stayed on as the largest vendor in a declining tablet market. The iPad ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.