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 Girls and guns 
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I'm curious what everyone thinks about modern trends that say to let boys and girls play with what they want. I'm not talking about little boys playing with barbies at young ages, but rather 12-year-old boys having doll houses and such. What would you do if an older boy or girl wanted to play with something that boys or girls usually don't play with, and would your response change if it were your own child?

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Danny Jugan

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Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:28 am
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It seems that there is a double standard in society. Many girls are tomboys from the get-go and they are usually accepted in society. On the other hand, boys who play with dolls are looked down upon by society. If I had a son who wanted to play with dolls, I would make sure that he has been exposed to many other things to play with. If he still liked the dolls, then I would allow him to play with them.

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Scott Shannon


Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:45 pm
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I think that kids should be allowed to play with what they want. I remember playing with friends when I was a kid, both guy and girl, and we would play school, legos, whatever and it was just play. I think it shouldn't be a big deal with what you do, but I think parents and teachers should be aware with the conversations that kids have. Instead of focusing on what you're playing with, focus on what the child is thinking, what they are saying, how are they reacting to their peers. Maybe kids get confused with their identity because they feel as though certain genders must act a certain way. If they don't clearly fit into that mold, then they might feel as if there is something wrong with them. But being a boy I don't think has anything to do with how emotional you are, what you play with, or your responses to things. It's a biological trait, and there are certain trends boys and girls have, but it also has a lot to do with your social atmosphere. Some guys may be trained to act a certain way where in another area, guys might be encouraged to act another way.

But, I think you do need to draw the line at social acceptance. Obviously, I can't go around with my shirt off because I want to be a boy. And, it would probably be a little strange to stand up if I have to go to the bathroom. I think the same thing should be done for guys- I don't agree with encouraging them to put on makeup or wearing dresses. I don't think that's restricting them, it's just not socially acceptable and I think it's perfectly okay to say that.

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Laura Greene

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Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:36 pm
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I do think that children should be allowed to play with what they want to. But, if I'm being honest and thinking about how I would react to my own son playing with barbie dolls at the age of 12, I would probably feel differently. It's not that I would be worried my son were gay or a "sissy", but how he would be treated at school and by his peers. Not everyone can be as understanding as a classroom full of highly-educated ASU students. There are so many more people in our world who believe boys should play with "boy" toys like guns and GI Joes and girls should play with "girl" toys like barbies and kitchenettes that I feel it would just make things harder on my child. I wish it weren't like that, but unfortunately I feel that my child would more or less suffer the consequences of more ignorant and uneducated people's actions and failures to understand the importance of letting your child live outside of this gender-biased box.

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Luci Osborne


Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:47 pm
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I don't think it's a big deal when children are young, and when as they get older, they tend to gravitate towards toys specific to their gender. I don't think you have to worry about taking your average 10-year-old boy into a toy store and having him ask for a Barbie. Kids are smart, and they learn quickly the difference between "boy toys" and "girl toys".

I had to write a paper earlier this semester about toys and gender. I think it's funny that most toys that are marketed to one gender have a similar counterpart for the other gender; the difference is in the marketing. For example, if you ignore the violent weapons and fashion accessories, how are action figures any different from Barbie dolls? They're both plastic people that show ridiculous exaggerations of the ideal body for each gender. There are playdough sets for boys and girls, Magnadoodles for boys and girls, but they're basically the same thing in a different package.

Boys get the short end of the stick in this area. When we were kids, no one thought twice about my female cousin and me playing Ninja Turtles with our male cousins, but it would have been a different story if we'd convinced them to play Barbies with us.

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Maggie Chambers

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Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:32 pm
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my brother played with my little ponies and my sister used to make him dress up in leotards and dance around the living room. he turned out okay.

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rebecca brown

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Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:41 pm
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I think it is perfectly fine to allow children to play with what they want. I know when I was young I wsa definitly the girl who did everything a boy. I know that it, for some reason, seems to be different for the boys who play with girl thing, but I truly believe that children have a great imagination and if you try to contain that then that is where the problem might come in.

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Jill Parsons


Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:02 pm
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Quote:
But, I think you do need to draw the line at social acceptance. Obviously, I can't go around with my shirt off because I want to be a boy. And, it would probably be a little strange to stand up if I have to go to the bathroom. I think the same thing should be done for guys- I don't agree with encouraging them to put on makeup or wearing dresses. I don't think that's restricting them, it's just not socially acceptable and I think it's perfectly okay to say that.
Laura Greene

I agree with your statement, it is important to keep in mind what is socially excepted and if my 12 yr old son was playing with dolls or wearing make up, I would wonder and be scared for him in society! I do agree that it is more exceptable for girls to do guy things cause sometimes it is stating their independence, although their is a line drawen, such as the example that Laura used, we can't go walking around with our shirts off, although the males would like that it still would be a little strange for a girl to actually be skins in a game of B Ball! :D It bits but this world is run by society, and every one strieves to be excepted in it, even when you aren't you try to make society believe that what you do is OK and exceptable! Think about it! You can't tell me you wouldn't be scared as a mom or dad if your son came home and wanted the Barbie Townhouse for his 12th birthday! Yeah when we are little we experment with roles from the opposite sex, like wear men's cologne, sleeping in just your underwear, wearing your hat backwards, or even test out your dad's razor on your face! Growing up with 2 older brothers I thought these things were cool because they did them and I was interested, a curious kid! But face it whether we like it or not we are shadows in society screaming to share who we are but who we are is shaped by what they tell us in one way or another!

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Brianne Henderson

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Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:23 pm
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