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Should There Be Gender Specific Toy Aisles Lining The Rows?

Decent Essays
Should there be gender specific toy aisles lining the rows in stores? How much does this reassure the sociological idea of gender itself? Does putting restrictions on kids’ toy decisions effect them in a negative way? Research has shown that it is natural for kids to want to experiment with different toys and identities. Pushing kids into a box of what they can, or cannot play limits their true potential and imagination.
Growing up, people can attest to the memory of them having gone to McDonald’s, ordering a happy meal, and received a special toy in their box. There were always two options for toys because they had a clear separation of the toy for boys or for girls. Even asking for a different gendered toy could be an issue at some
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The idea of separating toy selection is simply a marketing technique created to increase profits by creating a whole new market. These techniques, created by companies like Mattel and Hasbro, spread the notion that “blue is for boys, and pink is for girls”. It only further implemented stereotypes of how people should be and like. Big corporations are aware of the fact that pushing these stereotypes will make it more likely for parents to buy more toys for their different gendered children. They realize that if an older sister has a pink bike with streamers on the side, the younger brother will just want a new bike because he doesn’t want to be made fun of for riding such a feminine bike.
Taking a specific look at girl stereotypes, the toys targeted towards them are packaged in pink and are dominated by sexualized brands like Bratz, Barbie or the Disney Princesses, or makeup and hairstyle” (p. 36). Yet at the same time, they vehemently deny that toys are instrumental in the formation of gender differences, claiming that their intentions are to “maximize sales and profits, not to rear children” (Cross 1997, p. 231). Its inevitable that these overtly sexualized toys wouldn’t influence the girls at an impressionable age. Female-only commercials have repeatedly been found to make up the smallest percentage of children’s commercials (Johnson and Young 2002)
Some brands that have created lines dedicated to reach a girl demographic have been Lego, and Nerf. But generally
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