This is a question I've returned to many times over the years, and the start of many discussions I've had with family members and friends. It is a question that is sure to result in an animated debate, no matter who you ask.
I know there will be those who disagree with me, strongly for some, but I have revisited this idea for a long time and had enough years pass to be able to see some results.
First let me say that I have raised four children to adulthood. I will use only my own experience as example here. My first child is a daughter. Since dolls are a natural for girls, for most people, there was no question that she had many. Baby dolls, miniature dolls, fashion dolls, all made their appearance in her growing collection.
When the next child came, a boy, I watched as they grew and played together; both with her dolls and his trucks. As sons number two and three made their entry into the group, the play continued pretty much as before. Sometimes they played with blocks, trucks and dinosaurs; sometimes they played with her dolls and tea sets.
About this time Cabbage Patch Kids made there way into the toy stores. This was a revelation to me because, for the first time in my experience, some of the dolls were boys! I had always been resolved to raise my children with as much equality between the sexes as I could give them. It was also as important to me to teach gentleness to my sons as it was to teach strength to my daughter. It seemed to me at the time that I also wanted to raise my sons to be good fathers. Baby boy dolls seemed like a good place to start.
Believe me, I had an uphill fight on my hands from their father and grandfather! But I persisted and that year they all got a doll for Christmas, along with the requisite trucks and Legos, of course. The dolls were a big hit with all four. My sons were very gentle with their "babies" and seemed to enjoy the comfort of something soft to cuddle with as much as their sister. Yes, I know, a stuffed dog is soft and cuddly, too. But there is something so much more satisfying about a doll.
Well, as I said above, they are all grown and they all remember their dolls. They still think it was a great idea, never had a problem with owning a baby doll. My sons are not in the least feminine, but have always been very gentle with young children and seemed to attract, and enjoy, little friends quite readily.
If I had it to do over, I would do it again, so I encourage you to make a cloth boy doll for a young family member or friend.
For a simple boy doll to make, the 21 Inch David Cloth Doll is a good place to start.
Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls.