Anatomically correct doll

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An anatomically correct doll or anatomically precise doll is a doll that depicts some of the primary and secondary sex characteristics of a human for educational purposes. A very detailed type of anatomically correct doll may be used in questioning children who may have been sexually abused. The use of dolls as interview aids has been criticized, and the validity of information obtained this way has been contested.[1][2]


Some children's baby dolls and potty training dolls are anatomically correct for educational purposes.[3] There are also dolls that are used as medical models, particularly in explaining medical procedures to child patients. These have a more detailed depiction of the human anatomy and may include features like removable internal organs.[4] One notable anatomically correct doll was the "Archie Bunker's Grandson Joey Stivic" doll that was made by the Ideal Toy Co. in 1976.[5] The doll, which was modeled after infant character Joey Stivic from the TV series All In The Family, was considered to be the first anatomically correct boy doll.[5]

The dolls are also sometimes used by parents or teachers as sex education.[6]

Forensic use[edit]

A particular type of anatomically correct dolls are used in law enforcement and therapy. These dolls have detailed depictions of all the primary and secondary sexual characteristics of a human: "oral and anal openings, ears, tongues, nipples, and hands with individual fingers" for all and a "vagina, clitoris and breasts" for each of the women and a "penis and testicles" for each of the men.[7]

These dolls are used during interviews with children who may have been sexually abused.[8] The dolls wear removable clothing, and the anatomically correct and similarly scaled body parts ensure that sexual activity can be simulated realistically.

There is some criticism with regard to using anatomically correct dolls to question victims of sexual abuse.[1] Critics argue that because of the novelty of the dolls, children will act out sexually explicit maneuvers with the dolls even if the child has not been sexually abused.[1][2] Another criticism is that because the studies that compare the differences between how abused and non-abused children play with these dolls are conflicting (some studies suggest that sexually abused children play with anatomically correct dolls in a more sexually explicit manner than non-abused children, while other studies suggest that there is no correlation), it is impossible to interpret what is meant by how a child plays with these dolls.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Ceci, Stephen J.; Maggie Bruck (1995). Jeopardy in the Courtroom: A Scientific Analysis of Children's Testimony. p. 162. ISBN 1-55798-632-0.
  2. ^ a b Daniel L. Segal; Michel Hersen (2009). Diagnostic Interviewing. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 455. ISBN 978-1441913203. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  3. ^ Heather Corley. "Great Toddler Potty Training Products". Retrieved 28 November 2008. Examples are a great way to reinforce potty training concepts for toddlers. What better example than a doll that drinks water and then uses the potty, just like your toddler? The Emma (girl) and Paul (boy) potty training dolls from Corolle are anatomically correct and come with a refillable water bottle and a doll-sized potty chair.
  4. ^ "If a Doll Wears an Eye Patch, I Can Too". The New York Times. January 21, 1988. Retrieved 2008-11-26. With her son's experience in mind, Ms. Zayka, a former research chemist, designed an anatomically correct, life-size boy doll. She sewed it at home and donated it to the hospital to be used for children's demonstrations. The doll, which has changeable faces to suggest sadness and sleep, has cloth layers that attach with Velcro and that open, showing bones and organs.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ Migima manufacturer of anatomically correct dolls
  8. ^ Cohn, D. S. (1991). "Anatomic doll play of preschoolers referred for sexual abuse and those not referred". Child Abuse & Neglect 15:455 – 466.; Everson & Boat, 1991; Jampole, L. & Weber, M. K. (1987). "An assessment of the behavior of sexually abused and nonabused children with anatomically correct dolls". Child Abuse & Neglect: 11 187 – 192.; Sivan, A., Schor, D., Koeppl, G., Noble, L. (1988). "Interaction of normal children with anatomic dolls". Child Abuse & Neglect, 12:295 – 304. Cited in Larsson, 2000, op. cit.