In research reported today, it seems that phthalates, found in plastics, are affecting boys. The effects include genital abnormalities, and boys playing with girls’ toys. The BBC reports it as making boys more feminine; Jender at Feminist Philosophers deconstructs that particular worry. But in a particularly silly move, the ABC reports the story just a little differently.
A US study has come to the conclusion that chemicals used to soften up household items may also be making a new generation of soft blokes.
Wow. Stay classy, ABC.
It’s a social construction of gender alright: girls should be soft and feminine, and boys should be tough blokes. Of course we should worry about boys’ reproductive health, but for goodness sake, does it really matter one little bit if boys play with “feminine” toys.