Traditionally speaking, playing with dolls has been considered a girl’s pastime. From the 1940s to the 1960s, when dolls were quickly gaining popularity, it was the female children who could be found role-playing in the shoes of their mother or grandmother. Today, more and more people are starting to embrace the concept of boys playing with dolls.
The debate of boys and dolls is a long-standing, often relationship-dividing, argument. Parents of young boys often find themselves at arms with each other over a simple toy, and it doesn’t take long for other family members, friends, and neighbors to get involved.
Much of the concern – from a male point of view – seems to stem from the fact that dolls are considered a feminine toy. Fathers and other men struggle with the mental image of watching their “tough” young son coddle a toy baby; in fact, many men worry that playing with a male sexdolls will cause negative consequences in their son’s future. Acceptance begins with the adult male’s outlook on life itself, including his ability to embrace other people’s lifestyles, such as that of homosexuality.
Most experts agree: Playing with dolls cannot possibly cause a young boy to develop an overtly feminine side. What many parents fail to realize is that caring for a doll requires imagination, care, love, and concern on the child’s part. There is something about watching a young boy care for a baby that is heartwarming and genuine, especially if that child is otherwise rough-and-tough.
From birth, most boys are taught to be resilient and to play with trucks and tractors. Although it is possible that boys instinctively gravitate towards “boy toys”, they also mimic real life and other playmates. If a young boy sees a young girl having fun with a doll, he will also want to play a role. It’s also common for boys who spend the majority of their time with their mother or female caregiver to be drawn to conventional girl toys. Adult females are often more accepting of the situation than male influences, supporting a young boy to follow wherever his imagination may take him.
Overall, most parents and educators agree that activities should not be split by gender. Boys should have as much of an opportunity as girls to play house, care for dolls, or use toy mops and brooms. As the years progress, less and less focus is being placed on traditional roles, making it increasingly important for young boys to realize the importance of gender equality.