"Both closeness and confidence should be every child's birthright. But girls are discouraged from being too powerful, and they are encouraged to be overly "nice", to care more about relationships than achievement. If they don't fit this mold, they are called names that suggest they are not proper females: bitchy, pushy, bossy, dyke. Meanwhile, boys are discouraged from being too close. In place of closeness, boys are taught and pressured to overemphasize competition, assertiveness, achievement, and strength. Look at the insults a boy hears if he is connected instead of disconnected. If he has a close connection with his mother, he's a mama's boy; if he likes to play with girls, he's a sissy; if he wants to hug or hold hands with a boy, he's a fag; if he wants an equal, respectful relationship with his girlfriend, he's henpecked; if he likes school, he's a nerd.
In a world without these prejudices and without this differential treatment of boys and girls, would boys and girls still play differently? We don't know. We do know that now, our current society, children play in ways that mirror the sex roles they see around them."