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The chioce pf play-mates is an aspect of childhood play behavior.
Influences of androgens
Fetuses are exposed to prenatal androgens as early as 8 weeks into development. Male fetuses are exposed to much higher levels of androgens than female fetuses. It’s been found that play-mates, as well as toy preferences and play-styles vary with the child’s exposure to androgens. Regardless of the biological sex of the child, increased androgen exposure is associated with more masculine-type behaviours, while decreased androgen exposure is associated with more feminine-type behaviours.
Children’s preference for same-sex play mates is a robust finding that has been observed in many human cultures and across a number of animal species. Preference for same-sex playmates is at least partially linked to socialization processes, but children may also gravitate toward peers with similar play styles. Girls generally engage in more nurturing-and-mothering-type behaviours, while boys show greater instances of rough-and-tumble play. For much of human history, people lived in small hunter-gatherer societies. Overtime evolutionary forces may have selected for children’s play activities related to adult survival skills.
- ↑ Hines, M., Kaufman, Melissa., Francine, R. (1994). Androgen and the Development of Human Sex-Typical Behavior: Rough and Tumble Play and Sex of Preferred Playmates in Children with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). Child Development 65 (4): 1042–53.