Toys 'R' Us Inc.
These activities, whether sorting, role-playing, or building — can be done equally well with toys that are pink or blue, and few children, unless prompted by siblings or adults, see toys as gender specific. Walk into any home with toddlers, and you will no doubt be able to tell whether the child is a boy or a girl by a quick peek into the playroom.
Trucks, trains, planes, and baseballs will scream boy; while a room full of pink and frilly dolls and stuffed animals have little girl written all over it. Interestingly, toys have become as gender specific as clothes, and many parents are uncomfortable when their little boy chooses a doll over a truck or their little girl opts for cowboys over princesses.
What your toddler knows is that he or she enjoys doing certain activities. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with a girl pushing a toy lawnmower through the yard emulating her own mother who does the same. Imaginative play is an integral part of childhood development.
In a medical thesis by Dr. Carter Bruce, Cognitive Aspects of Sex-Role Development, clinical research proved that gender specific toys played a significant role in socialization that led to recognized principles of sex role development later in life.
In other words, the mother or father who gasps or becomes uncomfortable upon seeing their little boy cook or play with dolls is simply passing on outdated schools of thought about what is acceptable for males and females.
This same method of thinking would serve to stymie a male child as an artist or musician and, likewise, thwart a female from becoming a professional athlete.
The other important consideration about gender specific toys is that toddlers need to be raised with the awareness that whether they are male or female, they can pursue anything of interest to them.
When they approach pre-school, other children being schooled under gender specific thought patterns will no doubt call your son a sissy if he plays with dolls or other girls instead of the other boys.
Similarly, girls are perceived as tomboys if they are good at sports and disinterested in bows, ribbons, and fancy dresses. The role of a parent is to remain supportive of our children, regardless of what they are passionate about and despite what we think they should be doing.
As parents, if we send a shameful message to our children, even one void of words, we are setting them up to feel insecure and ashamed of themselves.
We are also taking away their opportunity to use their imagination, develop cognitively, and learn about the equality of the sexes. In fact, there is more proof to the contrary.
Your toddler is just a young child and is able to enjoy many venues and environments, seeing the sheer delight that each brings. The same is true for their toys. Rather than feeling awkward about this — you should feel proud and privileged to see the human spirit unrestrained by contemporary thinking.Gender Stereotypes Among Children's Toys When you walk into the toy section of any store, you do not need a sign to indicate which section is the girls’ side and which section is the boys’ side.
Are gendered toys harming childhood development? Toy choices, Sweet says, should be based on kids’ personal interests, and not on their gender.
“All toys are gender neutral,” says Brown. This battle with gender roles is not new; modernity has been fighting it severely the past few decades.
Concerns with the effects that highly stratified gender made toys can have on children’s perception of gender have recently become a larger ordeal that in the past. In my research on toy advertisements, I found that even when gendered marketing was most pronounced in the 20th century, roughly half of toys were still being advertised in a gender-neutral manner.
Sep 08, · Toys "R" Us announced Friday that its U.K. stores will stop labeling toys "boys" and "girls." New standards will be set for in-store signage and images will . Reports that gender stereotypes continue to influence parents' decisions when buying toys for their children, according to Niagara University researchers who interviewed adults from local toy stores.