Monkeys may prove gender roles are biological, not social

Different games for boys and girls down to biology rather than social stereotypes, say researchers


If human children are anything like baby chimps, the difference between boys and girls and the toys and games they like may be biological rather than social, reports the Daily Mail.


In a new study at Berlin Zoo, researchers have discovered that young female chimps treat sticks and playthings like dolls, bringing out the mothering instinct. The male chimps were much more likely to use the sticks as weapons.

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

The young monkeys even divided into gender stereotypes when offered human toys, with the girls opting to play with dolls and the boys more interested in cars and trucks.

The study suggests that biology plays a big part in the way boys and girls behave and that social influence only plays a secondary part in the differences in the genders.


Not sure what to encourage? Find out more about how girls and boys should behave.

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