Last week my daughter received twin dolls as a birthday gift. My 7.5 yr old son promptly adopted the boy one and named him "Noah" He spent the day wrapping his baby up in a blanket, so he wouldn't get cold, and taking it everywhere with him. We went out to eat...so did the baby....we went to visit a historical working farm...so did the baby...he even ordered a bowl of sliced bananas at the restaurant for the doll.
On the way out of the restaurant, my son was walking, with his baby cradled in his arm, and holding the hand of his 3 yo sister. We walked by a father and his two boys, who appeared to be around the same age as my son. They boys looked at my son, looked at each other, and started laughing. Thankfully my son was totally oblivious.
You see...my son does not see any reason why boys can't father a doll and be nurturing. No one has told him any differently, no one has teased him about this fact.
Some may point this out and say it is weird, and proof that homeschooling generates strange children with no idea of appropriate social behaviour.
I say, what is more normal and appropriate for people to be nurturing and empathetic?
My son will greet everyone we pass, adults..down to infants. He will say "Hello, my name is Add, I am 7...how are you doing today" Or he will without hesitation tell parents they have a sweet baby. He will also help out little kids he sees needing help, defend kids being picked on and tell the ones doing the picking on that that is not nice..and will stick up for girls. He has no problem speaking his mind on things he sees as being unjust as well.
On the other hand I find that I still bear some after effects of my schooling. I find that I am still afraid to speak my mind in groups, to raise my hand and give answers in settings where that happens, afraid to draw attention to myself. I did these things a few too many times, and was found to be foolish, and learned to just hold it in, to not speak my mind, because they might not want to hear it...or the timing might be wrong. I have gotten much better with it...but there still is a little voice in the back of my head..."no..don't, they might laugh, you might be a fool...just stay quiet and let it go"
I am glad my children are growing up without that. I am glad that they don't have the crippling self-consciousness I dealt with growing up.
I don't homeschool because of that specifically....but it is a wonderful benefit.