"Researchers placed a doll and truck inside a puppet-theatre style box and showed them to 30 children - 17 boys and 13 girls - for two ten-second intervals.Who Knew !
... The researchers found that 'girls showed a visual preference for the doll over the toy truck and boys compared to girls showed a greater number of visual fixations on the truck'.
The findings, from researchers at Texas A&M University, overturn conventional wisdom that children's toy preferences are down to social conditioning.
The academics believe that society's expectations do play a major part in influencing how children play.
But subtle cues from parents and peers merely reinforce a pre-disposition for masculine toys among boys and feminine for girls.
The study, published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, added: 'The findings from the present research are consistent with the hypothesis that males and females may show different patterns of attention to toys because they are attracted to different visual characteristics of objects.
'It seems unlikely that object interests in infants younger than nine months of age are a result of internal motivation to conform to external referents of gender role behaviour.'
It is believed that exposure to sex hormones in the womb has a bearing on toy preferences, as it does many other aspects of gender-related behaviour..."