Females and males like the same toys.

2023/02/15 Etxebeste Aduriz, Egoitz - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Ed. SantaMaría 3/Pixabay

One study solves that females and males prioritize the same toys. This is contrary to previous research, and researchers suggest that the key could be the influence of the social context. Published in the journal “Biology of Sex Differences”.

So far, only two studies (1,2) have investigated which toys the apes choose based on sex. Both concluded that males prefer toys that are considered “masculine”, like vehicles, and females prefer those that are considered “feminine”, like dolls. These investigations, however, were conducted in the presence of apes in their social groups, which makes it difficult to determine whether these differences reflect the real priorities of individuals or are conditioned by social dynamics.

In this study, 14 macaques (7 males and 7 females), with “male” toys (vehicles), “female” toys (dolls), neutral toys (non-zoomorphic hard toys) and ambiguous toys (e.g. zoomorphic vehicles) were individually analyzed. The result was that both males and females preferred neutral toys and “masculine” toys. Moreover, the biggest difference between the sexes occurs in the wrists, where males played more than females.

These results contrast with previous research. Researchers suggest that previously documented sex differences may be contextualized and have questioned that sex differences between toy preferences have a biological basis.

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