I'm going to be the one that looks bad here and say that I wouldn't be buying dolls for my son.
Gender roles do exist and they are part of the Biblical teaching from God. I also wouldn't "scream" or "yell" at my son if he asked to buy one- I remember that my brother wanted to play with dolls for a while as he was growing up. But part of the job of parents is to instill a Godly understanding of life, and that includes genders. Ok- there- I've said it; now y'all can slam me ;D
*shrug* As a little girl I never liked playing with dolls. I thought they were kinda creepy. I played about equally with barbies and dinosaurs, ponies and Legos. I seem to have turned out ok. lol. I know my gender intrinsically. Playing with toys of one type or another didn't really affect that part of me. Now, if my parents had been firm about "you can't play with Legos" then I may not have become an engineer. X)
I don't think gender roles are a bad thing. I also don't think it matters what type of toy a child plays with. My little brother played with my Barbies (as much as I didn't want him to) and I played with his Hot Wheels.
There are exceptions, but girls and boys tend to like different toys. The marketers arent MAKING anyone buy this or that, but they are looking at what sells and to whom. Some toys, like Tickle-me-Elmo are sold to boys and girls.. and ELMO want pink, so it is not ALWAYS true, but generally yes, girls like and buy pink stuff and boys.. well, they dont like PINK stuff.
@hectoramemnon@xanga - How is gender natural? Sex and gender are different things. People focus so much on the "differences" between males and females because they have a need for categorization. Gender roles are merely an exaggeration of the very few differences between the biological structures between males and females. Males have a higher level of testosterone (females have it too) however, testosterone is known for increasing physical activity and libido. Males are more physically active than females, (somewhat) so boy's things are considered things that have a higher level of physical activity like sports and fighting. I believe that a gender of a child is instilled right after birth, with the color of the blankets and how one treats the child. I've read a few articles stating that when someone is told that the baby is a girl, that people have a tendency to point the baby facing towards them and talking to them. When told the baby is a boy, they face the baby outward and bounce them on their knee. It's little things like that that influences a child. Sure, on average and statistically-speaking, males are more physically active than females, however, averages don't apply to the individual. You could be the little boy who prefers having teatime or the little girl who likes to pretend to be a Power Ranger.
I cried wearing dresses and was an angry child because I was always told to sit and be quiet when I wanted to play dodge ball. I was given crap by my mother for not being the little "girl" she wanted. Present all options to your child and let them decide, if they're cisgendered, that's fine, if you have a girl who wants to pretend to be Ryu from Street Fighter, that's okay too. Your child is still your child and you should love them regardless of how they want to dress or play, even if it doesn't agree with society's view on gender. As an androgynous (and sometimes man)-identified person, I don't see the point in gender roles, I feel like they restrict and box in a child's imagination.
About Me: Married to my best friend (@ashleywmiller). Student Ministries Pastor for @Parkcrest Christian Church. Learning how to better love Jesus and love people.
He’s passionate about inspiring The Church to stand up and become an influencing force in our culture.