Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


It's Chaos Out There!


  • In “Play Break,” Hilzoy writes:

    Here’s what it’s about: as most parents know, little boys tend to be more interested in toys like trucks, and little girls in toys like dolls. (I was an exception: someone gave me a doll once, and I dissected it.) There is no obvious way to decide whether this is innate or a cultural artifact by watching human children. So why not see whether the same gendered toy preferences exist in, oh, vervet monkeys?

    Guess what? They do.

  • The Matasano folks have five good posts up. Five! Today! Each worth reading! (“Why I Love Vulnerability Analysis In 2005,” “Mark his words,” “Mark my words,” “Pro-Forma ’05-’06 Punditry Results” and “OpenSSH Developer Interview.”)

    Have they no respect for our time?

  • Dan Solove is rounding up the wiretapping news.

(Tony the vervet monkey photo by One more shot Rog. No word on if a carton is a masculine toy or a feminine toy.)

3 comments on "It's Chaos Out There!"

  • allan says:

    I posted this on Hilzoy, but thought you might appreciate this moderating observation on the EvoPsych paper:
    Hmm… two-way tests show that while females prefer the doll, the male relationship isn’t strong at all:

    within-sex comparison of contact scores showed that female vervets had greater percent contact with “feminine” over “masculine toys,” P [less than] .01, but males had similar percent contact with “masculine” and “feminine” toys, P=.19.

    However, although female vervets preferred “feminine” toys over “masculine” toys, male vervets did not appear to prefer “masculine” toys over “feminine” toys. This difference between male vervets and boys may indicate that toy preferences in boys are directed by gender socialization to a larger degree than are toy preferences in girls.

    That’s not nearly as shocking a conclusion, but much more believable from an evo-psych perspective.

  • I’m sorry. We’ll shut up now.

  • David Brodbeck says:

    I’m curious how a monkey would come to the conclusion that a toy truck is a “masculine” toy, considering they can’t have any concept of what a truck is. Likewise with the pot; monkeys of either gender aren’t known for their cooking.

Comments are closed.