Do you still remember when you started to recognize the gender of a person? This is a man, and that's a woman, or this is a boy, and that's a girl. I can't remember but I think it is certainly before turning 2. For recently my baby girl suddenly became an expert on it.
Just two months back, she would still point at girls and call "KorKor" or vise versa. Or even worse she would point at an adult man and call "KorKor" too. Once we were inside a lift, one teenage girl with a pony tail came in with her parents, Kah Yen pointed at her, and shouted loud and clear "KorKor"! The teenage girl was shy and blushing, at a senstive age like this she must felt very embarrased to be called a "KorKor", what's more the parents also teased her 'Wow, she called you KorKor.". I was so embarrased I had to lie to them that my baby only knows how to call KorKor and doesn't know how to call JieJie yet. Geez, I lied in front of my daughter out of emergency!
After this incident I tried my best to explain to Kah Yen that if she sees a kid with long hair and bright color clothes or skirts, that's a JieJie; and short hair with dark color clothes or short pants is normally a KorKor (I hope 90% of the time this is true), and she should only call small kid "KorKor", big ones are called "Uncle".
I did not expect her to understand my explanation, afterall she was just 16-month old. However, as time goes by I noticed she starts to recognize gender difference with expertise. She would point at boys and call "KorKor", and point at girls and call "JieJie" at the playground, in shopping centers and on the road. She does the same when we are reading books. The classic example has to be Dr Sesus's books. If you have read Dr Sesus's books before, you know his style - Boy does not look like boy, girl does not look like girl, human does not look like human, they just look like some...... well...... creatures! Or in his own word, they are called "Thing One" and "Thing Two". However, Kah Yen can recognize boys and girls without fail.
Now she is right 90% of the time. In fact just the other day when we were at the lawn at Istana, there is a kid running in front of us wearing big shirt, short pant and a black color cap, holding a football in one hand. Kah Yen called "JieJie". I took a quick glance and corrected immediately "That's a KorKor". Husband said 'No, she is a girl". I looked carefully and realized her shoulder length hair under the cap, Yes she was correct that's a "JieJie'. Mummy was wrong this time.