Raising a Boy – Gender Stereotyping

A few days ago, I wrote a post in response to an article about raising girls – an article which was, essentially, complete tosh in my opinion. Well, guess what? The same publication has come out with this gem and I find it even more ridiculous. It’s just gender stereotyping as far as I can see.

1. There will be planes, trains and automobiles.  

They mention “gender neutral” toys like dolls and kitchens and say that your son will still play with cars and trains. Well, it’s true – they probably will, and so will your daughter. And they’ll both play with the kitchen and dolls too. We have a play kitchen – a red, yellow and green one which was bought for my eldest – my son – and now resides in my daughter’s bedroom. My youngest son isn’t quite at the stage where he’s interested in it yet – he prefers the washing machine.

Are trains gender neutral?

Apparently, only boys are interested in toy trains. And they’re not much interested in other toys.
Image courtesy of John Kasawa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2. Boys don’t stop moving.

And neither do girls.

3. Clothes shopping will be a piece of cake.

Assuming you like the small selection of clothes available. And if you do, it’s still only a piece of cake until they are old enough to express an opinion. My eight year old son is much more difficult to please clothes-wise than my three year old daughter. Gender is no mark of how easy to dress a child will be.

4. His fascination with his penis starts sooner than you think.

This is true. Absolutely. My daughter’s fascination with her genitals is pretty much equal to my sons’ fascination with theirs though. Kids are fascinated by their own bodies. Full stop.

5. Roughhousing is innate.

Have you met my daughter? She was the first to be in to rough and tumble in our house. My youngest son is equally physical. My eldest son is far less physical in his play, although more so now than he used to be. It’s not gender specific, you see.

6. You’ll probably make a trip to the emergency room.

I have made many trips to A&E. All of them for my daughter. Enough said.

7. Pee will be everywhere. Everywhere.

Well, you’ve got me there. The hose attachment does lead boys to make more of a mess. Except during potty training when it’s open season for both genders. Ho hum.

8. You’ll learn not to compare your son to girls.

If you’re smart, you’ll learn not to compare children to each other – they are their own person, with unique personalities, their own developmental journey …

But the article says girls are more mentally aware than boys. I’m not so sure. Both my eldest son and my daughter have been exceptionally aware of what’s going on around them, and have a deeper understanding of things than is usual for their age.

It also mentions a mother who says that her daughters would never have thought to do puzzles naked, whereas her son does. All of my children have preferred/do prefer to be naked rather than wear clothes for the sake of it. It’s not a gender thing.

9. The goofiness starts early.

Boy humor can be extra goofy and the potty humor starts as soon as they can talk.” Hmn. Girls, in my experience also find farts funny. Well, my daughter does. I’m beginning to wonder where they find these children in this article.

10. Boys adore their moms.

Yes. Yes they do. And so do girls.

 

And so, to conclude, I think their article on boys is, essentially, complete tosh too. You’re welcome.

 

4 comments

  1. Fiona Naughton says:

    I agree with all you said Nicola even though I don’t have a daughter to compare. I wrote a similar post to yours quite a few months back because I absolutely hate gender stereotyping, a child is a child, they don’t have to conform to adult ideals about what is right for a girl or a boy, full stop.

    Fiona @ http://www.dollydowsie.com

    • Mahala says:

      I know lots of parents who would agree with us – but marketing execs seem to be stuck in a previous century!

      Equally – and in my opinion, unfortunately – I see so many parents online who do raise their children differently based on gender. It makes me so sad

  2. Rachel says:

    LOL I find it quite sad that people do things like this, each child is different whether they are male or female (obv) and I am sure it isn’t just because they are one sex or another x

  3. Jo Smith says:

    Awesome post amd I’m in total agreement. What a ridiculous view point. Glad you’ve kicked some butt with this!

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