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An Exchange Concerning Gender at the Children's Museum
On our way in to the children's museum the other morning, Morgan got distracted by some colorful flower decals on the front window. The boy coming in behind us remarked upon this fact:

boy: I bet she likes the flowers because she's a girl.
me: I think she likes the flowers because they're colorful.
boy: And girls like flowers, and she's a girl.
me: The other thing she really likes right now is trucks.

I was actually kind of impressed that he gendered her correctly, given that she was dressed entirely in navy blue. I think it's the hair clip. As far as I can tell, kids are still looking mostly at her hair for gender cues, while adults rely more on clothing.

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I think you hit the nail on the head with "colorful" - and I'm sure that has a lot more to do with it than her being a girl. My niece ADORES trucks, cars, trains, cookies, dogs, and Grandma. Probably because they are colorful and in motion, colorful and in motion, colorful and in motion, yummy, soft, and prone to spoil her rotten. ;-)

I suspect my son thinks there are 3 genders: men, women, and children.

This is because he is intensely fascinated by the fact that men and women have separate toilets, and his kindergarten and nursery school have both had unisex children's toilets. So while he definitely knows that boys grow up to be men and girls grow up to be women, I'm pretty sure he hasn't realized boy/girl is the gender distinction applying to children.

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