Why are some little boys so obsessed with trains or dinosaurs? Psychologists call these preschool preoccupations “extremely intense interests,” and they’re much more common among boys than girls. Here’s why boys love the things they love so dearly.
Why are some little boys so obsessed with trains or dinosaurs- or World War II, or even blenders? Psychologists call these preschool preoccupations “extremely intense interests,” and studies have proven they much more common among boys than girls.
In this episode we talk about some of the more common “extremely intense interests” out there, like
* Thomas the Tank Engine.Why do so many boys go wild for the Isle of Sodor? Is it the wheels? Is it the characters with clear and never-changing facial expressions?
* Actually, all toys with wheels. Researchers found the same clear preference for wheeled toys among boy monkeys as they did with children.
* Dinosaurs. Is it the long names? The endless opportunities to “systemize”? Or is it mostly the people-eating potential?
* Superheroes: powers, villains, and perhaps a plausible opening to “super-punch” a sibling.
* Nerf guns and play weapons. Dr. Michael Thompson says “boys’ fantasy lives are no place for lessons on subjectivity and humanizing the other.” Whether or not you agree with that statement, you will probably agree that boys, when deprived of play weapons, can just as merrily duel with sippy cups or pillows or whatever might be handy.
“Extremely intense interests” tend to disappear once the kids who have them get to grade school, and have both new subject matter to master and peers with whom to assimilate.
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