Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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WHY DO GIRLS PLAY WITH BARBIE AND BOYS PLAY WITH RACE CARS? Images of a child being born is always coloured by shades of pink and blue. A woman walks into a children's store and lingers momentarily by the dolls, while nearby a man purchasing a gift silently contemplates a toy fire engine or race car. On the birth of a new baby girl, the new grandmother whispers to her son, " are you going to try for a boy soon?" In an Asian country side where the land is overcast with green, a baby girl cries as the nurse holds her over the churning river, ready to drown her, and on the Indonesian island of Sumatra a baby girl is decorated with shells and proudly paraded around the village, while a baby boy is left naked and considered no cause for celebration.

All over the world in any culture, religion or economic state, the sex of a child will effect its upbringing like nothing else.

In this essay the toys that will be evaluated in terms of the contribution to the child's development will be the Barbie doll and the race car. Therefore, the obvious question that this essay will attempt to answer is: "What happens in a child's development to make a girl attracted to a Barbie doll and a boy repulsed by it?" or simply "How is gender developed?" To answer this question to the full extent one must consider and critically evaluate 3 main theories of gender development which are, the Biological approach, Social learning theory, and the Cognitive developmental theory.

The reason why Barbie dolls and race cars have been used in this essay is because they are the typical and stereotyped toys of girls and boys.

The true basis of this...