Why are children drawn to scary things?

Gender: The gender issue already plays a role in the nursery

Laura is invited to a princess birthday. And her mother is desperate. Does she really have to go out and buy her four-year-old daughter one of those Disney princess costumes that she actually finds very scary? After all, she can't forbid Laura to go to the children's birthday party or just send her off without a costume. And Laura's friends will all appear in matching pastel outfits with a crown ...

The gender researcher Stevie Schmiedel receives emails from insecure parents like Laura's mother almost every day. They reach a particularly large number during the Christmas season. Then parents are in bustling toy stores and don't know what to do next. Because one thing remains in the hustle and bustle: the clear dividing line between pink and blue, between girls 'and boys' corners.

Girls like to play with dolls, boys like anything that has wheels. This is the common prejudice, and research so far seemed to have at least partially confirmed it. Developmental psychologists know that biological factors play a role in children's stereotypical toy preferences. But parents and advertising also influence the gaming behavior of boys and girls, with a tendency towards the classic gender image.

According to the Federal Association of Toy Retailers, however, there have been an increasing number of girls who prefer to play with cars and boys who love dolls in recent years. And studies show: This is good for the children, it promotes their cognitive and emotional development.

Pink and blue price tags

When you enter a branch of the Toys “R” Us toy store, you come across two different worlds. In one, the one for girls, pink-colored price tags hang on the Playmobil figures that simulate a model casting, and next to it are pastel-colored miniature kitchens. In the boys' world you can find blue price tags on helicopters swooping over glowing lava. Only a few pink balls got lost here.