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Baby Boys Prefer Dolls To Cars

Update Date: Dec 23, 2013 11:16 AM EST

Parents are better off getting their sons dolls this Christmas. New research reveals baby boys love dolls more than trucks.

After showing four-month and five-month-old babies pictures of objects, people and dolls, Australian researchers at the University of Western Sydney found that baby boys favor objects with faces over machines.

Researchers said they were able to determine babies' preferences based on how long children looked at each object.

The findings revealed that like girls, baby boys were significantly more willing to play with dolls than cars.

"As surprising as it may sound, although the thing to do is to buy dolls for girls and cars for boys, the science suggests boys actually prefer dolls," said lead researcher Dr. Paola Escudero, from the UWS MARCS Institute, according to MedicalXpress.

"Everyone loves buying dolls for baby girls and cars and trucks for baby boys, it's simply what we do," Escudero added "This common knowledge is supported by previous studies finding that 3-year-old boys prefer to play with transportation and construction toys whereas girls prefer to play with dolls."

"However, using state-of-the-art eye-tracking technology, we found that these gender-specific preferences are not present at five months, indicating that they are the result of physiological changes (e.g. their hormone levels), cognitive development or social pressure," she noted.

Escudero said the latest research provides new scientific evidence for baby boys' natural connection to dolls.

However, researchers said more studies are needed to understand gender switch in older children.

"More research is needed to fill in the gap between five months and three years to determine if it's nature or nurture that triggers little boys' interest in toy cars and trucks and other stereotypically male-associated toys," she added.

The findings are published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

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