Whereas most gender specific toys fit into the gender specific stereotypes, the nongender specific toys seemed to discourage stereotypes. An example would be Lego’s, this is a nongender specific toys that allows both sexes to use his or her imagination to the fullest.
The toy section at Target had many clear differences in the toys for boys and the toys for girls. The types of toys that were out on the shelves were different, but also the way the toys were presented were different. Girls toys mainly consisted of stuffed animals, dress up clothes, babies and dolls including Bratz, Barbies and fairies. The primary colors of all these toys consisted of different shades of purple, pink, and white. There were bits of blue and yellow but it seemed that all the colors stood out and had a type of feminine aspect to them. Besides color, the girl’s toys were often soft and fuzzy or
Toys play an important role in childhood development as children learn roles and skills from playing. As a result, the toys children are subjected to have an affect on which roles, interests, and skills are learned and practiced. Through Lego’s product Duplo, I will demonstrate the influence particular gendered toys have on children and their performance of traditional gender roles. Gender, which is a learned performance, is something society has been taught from a very early age and toy advertising has played a significant role in reinforcing the performance. One tradition that is reinforced and naturalized by society is the ideology of a male dominated society, representing strong characteristics of heterosexuality and masculinity; also known as hegemonic masculinity. Therefore, using Ideological Criticism, I will analyze how through the branding and design of Lego’s Duplo toys, children have been constructed to do gender differently, ultimately perpetuating and reinforcing hegemonic masculinity.
Children learn as early as age two what it means to be a “boy” or a “girl” (Aina & Cameron). This is described as gender identity, a person’s sense of self as male or female. Gender stereotyping emerges hand in hand with the development of gender identity in Early Childhood (Halim). Gender roles are society’s expectations of the proper behavior, attitudes and activities of males and females. When babies are born they are either put in pink or blue, as they grow up they still maintain the same “gender” colors. As young children start to socialize, they are playing with either “girl” toys or “boy” toys. When they get older they
In the world of toy marketing, choices are made with direction put in place for both genders (girl and boy). For example, as I walked down each toy aisle, I felt the gender conformity among the parents as they were with their children. With multiple aisles and two dominant colors (pink and purple) designated for girls, the message (in my perspective) marketed on the toy package yelled: “Your ambition is to be stylish, while a nurturing mother who partakes in domestic works!” In addition to the toy packages being in pink, the words (on the toy) were predominately frivolous and amusing. On the contrary, the boys’ aisle contained wide varieties of colors, although the color blue caught my eye the most. The boys’ toys entailed sports, building sets, as well as action figures. Conversely, the message in my perspective, marketed on the toy package screamed: “You have the power to do whatever you want; however, it is imperative that you build yourself physically, as well as train yourself in order to properly excel.” This type of act, referred to as the social role theory—“a gender difference that mainly results from the contrasting roles of females and males” (p.165),—gives a great cause of difference in gender regarding power, nurture, and
Few toys were aimed equally at both genders. Even board games, while intended for both sexes, usually seemed aimed more towards one gender or another. Both sections had a lot of gender- stereotypical toys. General ideas on girls’ and boys’ behaviors and interests were very prevalent in the toys intended for each gender. After really looking at the toys in both sections it is easy to understand why stereotypical ideas about both genders are so strong since these ideas are introduced at such a young
By looking through each aisle, I was able to determine what toys were presented for each age specific gender. The infant and toddler toys started off with not much difference and were gender neutral for the most part. They were even in the same aisle. The toys were generally plush animals, entertainment puzzles, and simple objects. As the ages moved up to pre-school there was more difference in what toys were for boys and what toys were for girls. The toys for boys were more vehicles while the girl toys were more play scenarios. This fit the description given in the textbook that, “by the time they are 12 to 18 months old, girls prefer…dolls, cooking sets, dress-up clothes, and soft toys, whereas boys choose vehicles, sports equipment, and tools (Etaugh & Bridges p 77).” Though the toys were varied, they still remained in the same aisle. The major separation of girl and boy toys began with the young school age kids. The girls’ section was focused on dress up, Barbies, and My Little Pony, whereas the boys’
Claire with help from sociologist Elizabeth Sweet, they attempt to go back in time trying to find the cause of all this. Before the 1960s, girl toys mainly focused on homemaking and boy toys were centered on the industrial economy. This research shows that all this changed significantly with the rise of feminist movements in the 1970s. The change did not last long as in the 1990s, and gendered toys came back with a bang! With action heroes and princess in the market.
According to cook and Cusack (2010), Gender stereotypes are concerned with social and cultural construction of man and women, due to their physical, biological, sexual and social functions, structured set of beliefs about the personal attributes of man and women. Childhood is a fundamental and significant period in forming an impression of an individual boy or girl, and man or women finally. Subsequent researchers Ania and Cameron(2011) hold an accordant opinion with Cook and Cusack(2010) that gender stereotyping is problematic only when it operates to ignore personal characteristics, abilities, needs, wishes, and circumstances (Cook & Cusack, 2010). In fact, during children’s learning process of gender stereotypes, most of them are under gigantic pressure of the society they belong to and formed a problematic view through normally ignored. One obvious phenomenon is about the toys. Toys are designed and retailed separately for boys and girls with different colours, styles and functions by toy manufacturers. When acquiring a toy, gender will normally be the first issue to consider instead of children’s inherent preferences. It will highly possible to limit children’s personal experiences and future development for both gender groups (Martin, Eisenbud & Rose, 1995). This article will analyse the role of toy manufacturers in gender development in order to decide whether they are responsible to
While I was walking down the aisle of “feminine toys”, I observed a pink box that included a Princess Aurora doll. On the box, there was a picture of a girl in a tiara holding the doll, which implies that the makers of the toy designed this for females. In addition, another toy I noticed was called the Orbeez
Toys play a major role in socializing young kinds into “appropriate” gender roles. The first obvious characteristic that separates toys for boys and toys for girls,
I decided that for this assignment that I would go to Walmart and observe their toy department. I chose this retailer simply because it was convenient, and it supplied a wide variety of toys for me to observe. Before I went to the toy aisle, I found myself reminiscing about my trips to the toy aisle. When I was a young girl the toy aisle was a pink wonderland. From what I can recall, all the packaging for girl toys were pink and violet whereas boy toys were blue and green. The former girl aisle mainly consisted of Barbie’s, Polly Pocket toys, Littlest Pet Shop toys, baby dolls, stuffed animals, and kitchen playsets. I do not remember much about the boys’ aisle except that there were a lot of toy automobiles. I also do not remember any gender neutral specific toys; however, that could be due to my age. I was surprised to find that the toy section actually had gender neutral toys. They had outdoor toys like balls, hula-hoops, kites, and jump
Gender socialization often begins early once parents are shown the sex of their child; from then on, baby showers are planned according to gender “appropriate” colors, which are often pink for girls and blue for boys. Even differences in how children are spoke to can be picked up easily in Western cultures. Girls are called pretty and sweet, whereas boys are handsome and strong. Ultimately, the way children learn to identify with their gender culture is in part due to not only family and friends, media, schools, and religion, but also from the toys that may inexplicitly advertise gender expectations. Gender-typed toys may be bought for children as a way for parents to encourage and reinforce gender-appropriate behaviors. However, recent debates have engulfed toy manufacturers and major retailers, which has brought about changes in toy design and marketing in an effort to make reflect more realistic and gender neutral options.
Going into different stores, one can easily pick up on the major gender roles each store supports. Even the morals of an innocent toy store, such as KB Toys, is tainted by the gender-differentiating dolls for girls, and trucks for boys. Upon entering the store you can tell right away which aisles attract which kids. To the left there is pink fluffy bears, pink Barbie and friends toys, white teddy bears etc. To the right there is a less vibrant color setting, coordinating army green, black, and gray color schemes. I think it is apparent to anyone who enters these stores that the pink pretty isles are meant to attract little girls, and the dark green and gray isles are meant to attract boys. Upon the packages of toy trucks and guns, there are pictures of young boys playing with them and/or cartoon male figures controlling them. On the packaging of Barbie and her friends there are also other girls on the packaging. I was unable to pick up on a single female on the package of any toy truck or gun throughout the entire store. The