Do Toys Emphasize Gender Roles? Essay

738 words - 3 pages

When girls are young they are given toys that are influenced by domestic activities that introduce them to traditional gender roles. This limitation of available toys has the possibility to impact children, especially young girls, in a negative way. With some girls only having gender-specific toys like dolls and kitchen sets, it has the possibility to enforce long-established ideas based on the role of women in society. These traditional gender roles placed upon girls by “gender appropriate” toys could give way to limiting the role of women in modern society.
Toy companies have strategic ways to market their products to consumers. One of the most common strategies is to market their toys to a specific gender. This shows with the separate aisles that are designed for each gender. So, this separation of gender could lead way to the idea that “Toyland is boy and girl land” (Auster, Claire). These ideas of “boy and girl land” play upon the stereotypes of each specific gender and impose these conventional stereotypes on children. When these girl specific aisles lack in the sales these toy companies attempt to “‘pinking it up’ to make it more popular” (Auster, Claire). This marketing strategy enforces the idea that young boys and girls are separate from one another and that the toys that are assigned to each gender define them. Allowing these toys to define their perception of gender, children let these toys define the roles that each gender possesses in modern society. So, this implication of societal standards then transfers to the parents who then buy these toys for their children.
Even when they are young, many girls have their parents attempt to enforce these long standing perceptions of gender roles. When girls are fist born, they are commonly given a baby doll that they are told to take care of. This is because “many parents indicate that they prefer that their children behave in traditional genderized ways” (Freeman 363). The role of the women in the kitchen, taking care of children is enforced by giving girls this baby doll to play with This strives to support the traditional values defined by society lend to the...

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