Well...I am here to say that the dolls I made for my son and grandson proved to be a very good thing for both boys. Both my son, who is an adult and has a child, and my grandson are very nurturing and loving souls. I think when a boy has the chance to love a doll and cuddle it, positive feelings towards real babies and other people begin to cultivate within them. The dolls I made were cloth, soft and cuddly. The boys saw the dolls as friends and buddies to share secrets with, to hold on to in times of fear or insecurity (like when they had to be with babysitters, or when they had to go to the doctor, dentist, etc.).
There is far too much worry and concern placed on gender oriented toys for children in my opinion. If you think about it, girls turn out to be naturally nurturing and loving adults because they were allowed to act like a parent/caregiver when young. Boys have to struggle harder to learn to be nurturing and loving adults because they were not given the chance to take care of a dolly. Society demands that boys be strong and fearless and girls be soft and nurturing. I see absolutely nothing wrong with letting the child determine which toys he/she wants to play with. This is my humble opinion.
Walk in Peace and Harmony.
Phyllis Doyle Burns
Avatar: Fair Helena by Rackham, Public Domain