I can’t let the coincidence of this pass me by, since we’re talking about dolls and the objectification of girls’ and women’s bodies again. Squadratomagico has a great post up on the off-label hormonal engineering of baby girl fetuses who have tested positive for (gasp!) Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, which means that they frequently have ambiguous genitalia, may possess a strong interest in softball, and “as a group have a lower interest than controls in getting married and performing the traditional child-care/housewife role.”
(Well, what thinking woman doesn’t agree with that last bit? Seriously: if you dig scrubbing crusty surfaces and wiping snotty noses and bums, that should be a symptom of clinical depression, not normative behavior in any adult, male or female. Most of us do that junk because we don’t want the state condemning our houses and taking our kids away.)
Click immediately on this link to join the discussion. I left a comment over there, so I’ll be following that thread. Something else I didn’t mention in my comment is the odd equation of childhood behavior with adult predisposition for motherhood among these alleged sufferers of CAH: “As children, they show an unusually low interest in engaging in maternal play with baby dolls, and their interest in caring for infants, the frequency of daydreams or fantasies of pregnancy and motherhood, or the expressed wish of experiencing pregnancy and having children of their own appear to be relatively low in all age groups.” What a stupid way to think about children or the importance of play.
My brother played army a lot and carried his guns in a purse when he was a child, and yet he neither grew up to enlist in the military nor carries a purse now at the age of 39. When I was a kid, my entire room was lined with mini-kitchen appliances, and I wrote stories at school about how I wanted to grow up to be a “housewife.” (And you can see how that turned out for me.) Both of us loved making “forts” with blankets and couch cushions, and yet neither of us sleep regularly on the floor and in fact both of us live in traditional houses now. It must be a genuine miracle of nature that we grew up to have different interests than our play-selves did at periods in our childhood! (Somebody better go round up all of those little boys I played astronaut with back in the Apollo-mission days, because none of them grew up to be astronauts. Test them! Inject their sons and grandsons with untested hormones!)