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When do children learn to distinguish between boys and girls?

(7 Posts)
Trinpy Sat 21-Jan-17 13:33:21

DS is 2.9. He can sometimes (but not always) tell the difference between men and women but he can't tell whether other children are boys or girls. I've noticed all his friends who are a similar age have been able to do this for a little while now. I'm not worried about it just yet because he's still so young, but by what age should he be able to do this?

SheepyFun Sat 21-Jan-17 13:40:59

DD learnt after she'd been at nursery for about a term, so 3.3 I guess.

catkind Sat 21-Jan-17 13:57:16

Unless you can see their privates, there is no difference at that age. Well done for not teaching tired stereotypes. Depressing thing is DD at 4 still thought she could tell the difference despite her own short hair and often jeans/joggers and t-shirts. If she'd met herself she'd have been sure she was a boy! I think about 4-6 is about prime age for gender stereotypes.

Trinpy Sat 21-Jan-17 14:25:33

Ah still a while to go then, thank you.

Ha! Cat I'm sure I've managed to introduce some gender stereotypes into his little world without even realising it, it's so ingrained, isn't it? I think it just all goes over his head at this point though. However many times I've explained to him why only Mummy can breastfeed the baby he still firmly believes that Daddy can do it too.

Ferguson Sat 21-Jan-17 19:26:56

And the current gender trait that seems to be increasingly common amongst children is 'gender dysphoria', when a child feels as if they are in the 'wrong' body - there are several MN references, and an interesting TV documentary.

FerretsRule Sun 22-Jan-17 19:09:13

Dd started to be able to tell the difference not long after potty training at 2.2 after constantly following daddy and asking what's that blush

now she's 2.9 and can tell the difference 90-95% of the time but she is rather fascinated with privates, huge family lots of cousins who all get bathed together so that's probably helped

Trinpy Mon 23-Jan-17 18:21:55

Yes ds loves playing a game of his own making called 'Do they have a willy?' Where he lists everyone he knows and I have to tell him whether they have a willy or not hmm. We've been playing this game every few weeks for almost a year now but he doesn't seem to be able to link the 2 ideas together yet.

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