Why Boys Dont Play with Dolls Research Paper

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Why Boys Don’t Play With Dolls

Katha Pollitt

Pollitt, an award-winning poet, is also well known as a liberal essayist for The Nation. She contends that much of her writing argues for "women's entitlement to full human rights," and this essay, "Why Boys Don't Play with Dolls,” certainly was written in that vein. She has a well-deserved reputation for dismantling bad arguments by exposing the faulty logic and poor use of evidence of many of today's' cultural critics. This piece, first published in the New York Times Magazine, is too short for Pollitt's usual detailed examination of evidence. It relies, instead, largely on her reputation as a careful researcher. So Pollitt may not expect to persuade hostile readers to change their minds on the basis of this one essay. But she does expect readers to recognize that what we take for common sense-in this case, the belief that there are innate differences between the sexes-might be ridiculous. Sex roles, she argues, are determined by culture. This piece, like many of her other essays, fights the backlash against feminism. you might begin analyzing this essay by considering Pollitt’s exhortation in the final two paragraphs. _____________________________________________________________________________________________

It's 28 years since the founding of NOW (the National Organization for Women), and boys still like trucks and girls still like dolls. Increasingly, we are told that the source of these robust preferences must lie outside society-in prenatal hormonal influences, brain chemistry, genes-and that feminism has reached its natural limits. What else could possibly explain the love of preschool girls for party dresses or the desire of toddler boys to own more guns than Mark from Michigan. True, recent studies claim to show small cognitive differences between the sexes: he gets around by orienting himself in space, she does it by remembering landmarks. Time will tell if any deserve the hoopla with which...
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