The researchers presented a group of vervet monkeys with a selection of toys, including rag dolls, trucks and some gender-neutral items such as picture books. They found that male monkeys spent more time playing with the “masculine” toys than their female counterparts did, and female monkeys spent more time interacting with the playthings typically preferred by girls. Both sexes spent equal time monkeying with the picture books and other gender-neutral toys.
Because vervet monkeys are unlikely to be swayed by the social pressures of human culture, the results imply that toy preferences in children result at least in part from innate biological differences. —Larry Cahill —His Brain, Her Brain (Scientific American)