American women can be divided into two groups: women who grew up playing with Barbies or dolls, and women who did not.
Women who did NOT play with any kind of Barbies or dolls as children grew up to be lunch ladies named Olga and female guards at the state penitentiary.
Women who DID play with dolls or Barbies can be further divided: girls who played with dolls/Barbies and had brothers, and girls who played with dolls/Barbies and did not have brothers.
As a Barbie aficionado with two younger brothers, I can assure you one thing. Girls who had brothers in the next room over, blueprinting backyard excavation plans for a roller coaster, were taught a broad spectrum of valuable life lessons via dolls. These lessons included:
Medical: Heads reattached to the body cannot be expected to work properly.
Romance: Sometimes, a short G.I. Joe, stubby Lego man, or a block can substitute for Ken.
Beauty: Hair is flammable…and if you melt it all off, no one will want to play with you.
Consequences: Bad things happen to those who catapult themselves off the railings.
Fragility of Life: See above.
Psychiatry: See above.
Survival: Appendages are preferable, but not necessary.
And that, friends, is a one reason I was crossing my glitter gel fingers for a boy first; the odds are good that any future daughters of mine will be taught flexibility and some of these same life skills at an early age.
(No sons? No problem. Fathers generally sub in for lethal Barbie playing fairly easy.)