by Serge Lashutka, M.A., M.B.A.

During a recent workshop a mother of a small girl told the story of watching her daughter playing alone in her sandbox while she was doing the dishes. The mother had bought several Tonka trucks for her daughter, trying to expose her to toys generally for boys.

Research shows boys prefer toys associated with power, noise or speed. Girls tend to prefer toys associated with caring and nurturing. As the mother watched her daughter more closely, she realized her daughter had taken the drivers out of their trucks and was using them as dolls. The drivers were having an animated conversation. The nature versus nurture debate continues, and more of our gender behavior may be hardwired in us than we previously thought. Even so, we have to also remember that human behavior runs the range of the bell curve, and there will always be exceptions. No matter what our expectations may be.