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Reality Check: A Boy's Toys?

Q. My husband doesn't like our 1-year-old son to have "girly" toys, but I think he should be allowed to play with what interests him. Who's right?

A.
Let's just put it out there: Your husband doesn't want your son choosing toys traditionally reserved for girls because it threatens his masculinity  -- he thinks that a guy whose son wants to play girl games may be a bit less than fully a man himself. Also, there's a misconception that the "wrong" kind of play could make a kid end up gay. And there are lots of men who are cool with other people's sons being gay but are a leeeetle bit weirded out by the thought that their own might be.

But tell your husband this: Whether you stuff his room full of trucks and baseball bats or tea sets and Barbies, your child will choose his own favorite playthings. Common sense (and child-development experts) says this: Taking away a doll wouldn't stop him from being gay, and letting him play with one won't make him gay.

So let your son play with whatever makes him happy. At the end of the day, his happiness is what matters most.

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