Toys Should Not Be Gender Biased Essay

1321 WordsNov 16, 20166 Pages
“Raise boys and girls the same way,” a phrase originally said by neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, that urges parents as well as people to raise children without a heavy influence of gender stereotypes and let the child discover how they want to represent themselves. A large divide between little boys and girls is shown in the toy industry. The retail chain Target recognized the influence of the gender bias toys and the impact they have on children and parents and began neutralizing labels within the toy department. Toys should not be gender biased because gender stereotyping has wavered back and forth over the past fifty years. Gender-biased toys can have an impact on a child’s development, and the unnecessary labeling of toys has sparked a cultural shift in society. The battle between the marketing of gender bias toys and stereotypes dates back to the 1950s. Girls were given toys which reflected the life of the homemaker women at the time and boys were influenced by army toys to become “tough” men. However, society grew out of these “norms” by the 1970s, according to Elizabeth Sweet, a sociologist studying children and gender equality at the University of California, nearly 70 percent of toys had no gender-specific labels at all (Robb). In fact, the most desired Christmas toy of 1970 was the Nerf Ball. The packaging of the ball displays an image of both a boy and girl playing with the “incredibly soft and spongy synthetic foam” ball. The following nine years of
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