The toys your child gets for Christmas this year, could set a tone for what they believe they're capable of achieving years from now.
Sacramento State Sociologist Elizabeth Sweet presented her findings on the topic at a White House conference earlier this year, attended by several of the nation's largest toy manufacturers.
She says most toys aimed at boys focus on building skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, while toys designed for girls tend to develop reason and nurturing skills.
According to Sweet, these interactions may even affect the brain's hardwiring.
"Those circuits that we use the most are the ones that get stronger, and so certainly there are neuroscientists who argue that when kids are limited in the types of things that they play with, that does have an effect on brain development," says Sweet.
She also says, the focus on gender-specific toys is a modern-day creation that grew following the point at which women won the right to vote.