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The chioce of play-mates is an aspect of childhood play behavior.

Influences of androgensEdit

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.[1] 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.

See alsoEdit


  1. 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.

Further readingEdit

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