In 2009 I special ordered a SOMSO-Plast baby which is designed for use as a teaching aid usually in a medical setting. The version I ordered is designed to teach infant care. It is anatomically correct, has ball joints for each of its extremities, an open anus, synthetic brown eyes, hand-painted hair, is the height and weight of a 6-week-old infant, and described by the German manufacturer as "a perfect combination doll for bathing, dressing practice and nursing exercises."
These baby models are sold through medical equipment companies here in the US and when not in stock usually take three to six months to receive. They are each handmade by the German manufacturer upon special order request.
|SOMSO-Plast Babies for teaching infant care|
I wanted a certain dark-skinned model that was not in stock with any US medical equipment company I contacted. With one company whose price was the lowest, I placed a prepaid order and waited patiently 90-some-odd days for the baby to be made and shipped from Germany. Instead of receiving the dark-skinned version, I received the white model. I contacted the US company, who placed a second special order for the correct version. The second baby arrived in the summer of 2010. As things worked out, I was able to keep both female baby models.
Even though both are females anatomically, I purchased coordinated girl-boy outfits.
|Babies dressed in coordinated outfits (aren't they adorable)?|
The Clarks initially used four dolls dressed only in a diaper. The dolls were identical with the exception of their complexion and hair color. Two were white; two were black. With a series of requests of the children, the Clarks discovered that, while 66% identified themselves with the black doll and 33% identified with the white doll when requested, "Give me the doll that looks like you," most children chose the white doll and rejected the black doll when requested, "Give me the doll you like to play with the best."
My grandson was 4 at the time he took the test, which I video taped, but for privacy reasons, have chosen not to share here.
A transcript of the questions my Grandson answered can be read below. These were modeled after the Clarks' Dolls Test requests, but spontaneously updated and amended by my daughter as they were asked. (To all, with the exception of the ones where an answer is provided, Grandson chose the black doll.)
Which doll would you want to play with?
Which one looks nice?
Which one looks bad?
Which one can dance?
Which one has a nice color? White doll
Which one looks like you?
Which one can sing?
Which one plays basketball?
Which one plays hockey? White doll
See more educational SOMSO-Plast babies (models) here.
See Dr. Clark's original Dolls Test data here.
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