This just in! Males like cars, females like dolls

A study of vervet monkeys proves that humans make a lot of assumptions.


Lynn Harris
December 14, 2005 8:15PM (UTC)

Tip from Broadsheet reader Rebecca Zerzan: "The various news media of the heartland have been busy exalting a study of vervet monkeys that demonstrates evolutionarily hard-wired gender roles. Male monkeys enjoy playing with cars and balls; female monkeys like dolls and cooking pots -- ostensibly proof that spatial acuity is a masculine trait and that the maternal arts express themselves exclusively in females."

I can't tell you how insane it makes me when studies "prove" that women are naturally "maternal." Hello, we BEAR CHILDREN. This is not, speaking of spacial acuity, rocket science.

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Not to mention: as we know, of course, all cooks are women.

"Either the family-values mongers of the Bible Belt twisted this study in the media, or the study itself failed to consider our own socialized assumptions about 'gendered' toys," adds Broadsheet reader Zerzan. "When a vervet monkey takes a cooking pot and uses it to cook for an unappreciative man, then maybe wild extrapolations about gender roles will have some teeth."


Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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