One of the things I do for a living is conduct workshops for both adults and kids.
The adult audience is usually 95% female.
With kids, the situation is different. There have been many times I was invited to schools or event venues, where I worked with mixed gender groups. I am often asked in advanced if this kind of activity will suit boys too, and this question has been asked mostly when referring to the 10-12 age group.
From my experience, particularly with this age group, I have had great success with the boys. I'm not surprised by it, since I conducted so many workshops of this sort during the last few years, and I always get the same enthusiastic reactions from boys as well as from girls.
It seems that the boys are less bothered by the gender issue when creating those dolls; if they are, it is manifested in the design of masculine characters (one of the principles I maintain in my workshops is to encourage each participant to design and create their own characters).
Still, I am always faced with doubts regarding whether boys will enjoy doll making at this age, and they almost always come from adults – the educational staff or parents.
I assume that the opportunity to create characters, particularly masculine characters, using needlecraft techniques and textile materials, gives boys a unique opportunity to express the transformation from childhood into adulthood in a more complicated and complex way, which can express various layers of the personality, consciously and unconsciously, as well as emotions which can’t be expressed in other ways.
I have collected some creations made by boys from my workshops: