Before my interview with Dr Neave I decided to quickly write up the other experiments I had seen from the BBC documentary to bring along with my sticky notes (desk research) and survey results too.
At the interview I showed him my work so far and explained what my end goal was going to hopefully be, creating a toy to help with gender roles to careers and ambitions. The conversation was very helpful and he seemed really interested in what my work involved. I am going to keep him posted with how everything is going as I develop my research and ideas.
Typed up notes from interview are shown below –
Interview with Dr Nick Neave – Evolutionary psychologist
Theres always going to be a biological predisposition for boys and girls to have certain traits. For example there has been experiments with monkeys where the males have gone for the typical boys toys and the females have gone for the typical girls toys. This shows that without environmental factors we are still attracted to specific toys because of our innate differences.
Your going to find it very difficult to solve this debate as its an argument that has been going on forever and will continue to go on.
You need to decide whether what you create is going to appeal to just one sex or be gender neutral but your not forcing this onto the children e.g making boys play with feminine toys. They won’t want to feel like they have to play with it.
Have a look into collecting as this has been proven to appeal to both boys and girls, things like pokemon, collecting a unified set of things. There is some literature on this topic.
Another thing is problem solving games, puzzles, education, they appeal to both genders. It would be good to create something that captures both sexes, a toy/game that appeals to both sides. Think more about educating rather than specific roles. For example getting females to think for visuo spatially using puzzles and scientific problems and getting males to think for empathetically using moral dilemmas.
Other examples would be role playing games like the sims, they have always connected with boy sexes and have elements of both genders in the game.
Also look into literature on androgyny, its better to be more gender fluid in todays society rather than making men like women and women like men, adopting both roles is better than just one.
I have also just quickly wrote some notes on this on A3 paper to show my tutor tomorrow.