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Wife bought my son an American Girl Doll

My son who is 8 and an only child is surrounded by girls in our neighborhood. We try to hook him up with boy playdates when we can but it happens on rare occasions. He is involved in sports and Cub Scouts but has not made any good relationships  with the boys. My wife and I talked about how we could support his relationships with boys and try to schedule more playdates. However, with his birthday money my wife and he comes home with an American Girl Doll. I was very angry and upset with her and explained that this is not going to help make connections with boys. Im trying not to show my anger in front of my son but it is difficult. My wife thinks I have a problem.  I have no problems with him playing with girls but I dont think we should be  buying him dolls.  Any advice ?
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Avatar universal
13167 tn?1327194124
I'm sensing the core issue here is that you are afraid he is gay,  and if you consistently guide him toward boy behaviors and encourage forming friendships with boys,  that will keep him from being gay.  I may be way off-base here,  but I'm sensing that.  Sometimes it's easier to talk about a concern if you shave it down to the bare nugget of it,  rather than a concern about buying very expensive toys that are almost exclusively the property of the other gender.  

Is that it?  
13167 tn?1327194124
An aside,  there's a movement (among mothers,  you will see) of turning American Girl dolls into boys.  Because apparently there is a market for them,  and boys want them.  You might google it and see if your son is interested.  Of special interest is the article in the New York Times:

Avatar universal
I am sensing some toxic masculinity issues. Your son is not defined by the gender of the kids he plays with. Just remove all gender norms and expectations and let your son be who he is. I agree with your wife that your are in the wrong here.
Avatar universal
I don't see why he cannot play with a doll, or only girls. He may find other boys to play with eventually- or not - it shouldn't matter either way, as long it all happens naturally. Giving boys what are traditionally considered "girls' toys" such as pink stuff, kitchen toys etc. is totally ok, and don;t we give girls cars, guns and what are traditionally considered "boys  toys"? I think not labeling toys gender-wise may be the best course of action.
Avatar universal
I am a woman and I played with pirate ships and castles. He is a child. Don't be a homophobe and don't be mean to your wife and son.
Avatar universal
Some guys, yes, even straight guys, connect more with girls just like some girls connect more with boys. Buying an American Girl Doll and letting him play with it has absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation. In fact, it is proven through various studies, look at Psychology for this, that boys who grow up owning and playing with dolls end up being better fathers and husbands because their nurturing side was embraced as a child. I am going to agree with your wife about you having a problem. It seems as if you are suffering from toxic masculinity which is actually harmful mentally and emotionally to yourself. The only reason why toys have genders is because someone decided that dump trucks and action figures are for boys and play vacuums and dolls are for girls. People fell uncomfortable with things they can’t label which is why literally everything in our society is subconsciously labeled “masculine” or “feminine” . I have a quick question for you...if gender rolls never existed, would you still hate your son playing with American Girl Dolls? If not, please do some self-reflecting and encourage your son to be who he is even if it is more feminine than masculine. On a given sidenote...if your child does turn out gay or bisexual, accept him with loving and open arms, and please do not turn your back on him and/or kick him out. I’m a Christian, and I will happily accept anyone on the bases that what they are doing does not hurt themselves, a child, any one else, and animals. After all, God said “love thy neighbor as you love yourself” and to “not judge for the extent that you judge the same will be held against you”).
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13167 tn?1327194124
Austin, TX
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