December 21, 2010
Chimp Girls Show Doll Preference

Chimps show familiar human sex stereotypes with objects for playing.

Researchers have reported some of the first evidence that chimpanzee youngsters in the wild may tend to play differently depending on their sex, just as human children around the world do. Although both young male and female chimpanzees play with sticks, females do so more often, and they occasionally treat them like mother chimpanzees caring for their infants, according to a study in the December 21st issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

The findings suggest that the consistently greater tendency, across all cultures, for girls to play more with dolls than boys do is not just a result of sex-stereotyped socialization, the researchers say, but rather comes partly from "biological predilections."

"This is the first evidence of an animal species in the wild in which object play differs between males and females," said Richard Wrangham of Harvard University.

Earlier studies of captive monkeys had also suggested a biological influence on toy choice. When juvenile monkeys are offered sex-stereotyped human toys, females gravitate toward dolls, whereas males are more apt to play with "boys' toys" such as trucks.

Innate brain differences between males and females are the result of natural selection. It is natural that the young of a learning species will practice skills that better enable them to carry out adult responsibilities. Play times in youth are for learning.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 December 21 12:16 AM  Brain Sex Differences


Comments
Red said at December 21, 2010 2:54 AM:

How science should work:
1. Someone comes up with a theory.
2. Theory is tested with the focus on breaking the theory using statistics, studies, test subjects, ect.
3. After many, many tests we start accepting the theory as possibly true but we continue to occasionally test it.

How American science actually works:
1. Someone comes up with a theory.
2. All testing(if any is even done) is aimed at showing the theory correct.
3. Data that contradicts the theory is either hiddin or the data sources are attacked for being racist, sexist, ect.
4. Theory continues to be considered true by everyone. Anyone who disagrees is attacked on a personal level.
5. 50 years of data contradicting the theory finally overcomes the bad idea.
6. Someone comes up with another stupid theory and the cycle repeats itself.

Mthson said at December 21, 2010 8:37 AM:

Strange... my idiot liberal friend who teaches at Harvard was just telling me how evolutionary psychology is dead.

Chris T said at December 21, 2010 9:55 AM:

Anyone who's ever been around a pregnant woman would be in deep denial to continue believing that the there are no psychological differences. One word: hormones.

Anonymous said at December 21, 2010 3:45 PM:

Red has it almost correct, but forgot a step:
1b. Government considers theory and if found politically correct releases $10 billion in grant money.

Greg F said at December 21, 2010 8:32 PM:

My kids are twins, one of each flavor. All their toys went into the same box. Result. Girls like dolls and boys like trucks. We have become a nation of credentialed idiots.

Lee Reynolds said at December 22, 2010 2:19 PM:

Red is mostly correct, but there are some changes that need to be made before his post will be completely accurate.

First, "American" needs to be replaced with "Leftist."

Step 1 of Leftist Science needs to be revised as follows:

1. Someone comes up with a malignant sophistry that gratifies the psychiatric condition(s) underlying their political views.

Steps 2 through 6 need no revision.

The how science should work section should be revised as follows:

1. Phenomena are observed that are not adequately accounted for by existing explanations.
2. Someone comes up with a TESTABLE hypothesis that explains these observations.
3. Tests are conducted that attempt to DISPROVE the hypothesis.
4. Step 3 is repeated with many different tests conducted by many different researchers. If falsification never happens, then this hypothesis is accepted as a working explanation still subject to potential falsification, also known as a theory.
5 If falsification does happen, then the hypothesis is either revised and the process goes back to step 3, or to step 2 after someone comes up with a new hypothesis.


waltc said at December 22, 2010 2:53 PM:

Greg F said at December 21, 2010 8:32 PM:

My kids are twins, one of each flavor. All their toys went into the same box. Result. Girls like dolls and boys like trucks. We have become a nation of credentialed idiots.

If you had documented your kids choices and published the results, you could have scored a share of the grant money.

toot said at December 22, 2010 3:26 PM:

The fact that this is regarded as news indicates that our credentialed class continues to cling to the "Blank Slate" paradigm.

three chord sloth said at December 22, 2010 5:45 PM:

"The fact that this is regarded as news indicates that our credentialed class continues to cling to the "Blank Slate" paradigm."

Well, of course. Pretty much everything they believe in, and everything they want to do, is dependent upon it.

Joe W said at December 23, 2010 5:22 AM:

"Strange... my idiot liberal friend who teaches at Harvard was just telling me how evolutionary psychology is dead."

Why is that? Too many inconvenient facts getting in the way of the way of their pet theories?


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