By Shawna Robb
One room has pretty pink wallpaper with a princess border; the other is blue with monster trucks on one-wall and sports pictures on another. It is not hard to tell which room is female and which room is male. Male and female are used in this instance to define genders. Gender, unlike sex, is a universal guideline upon which individuals are placed. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behavior, and activities that a particular society considers appropriate for men and women. When the pressure of gender stereotypes is open to debate some say there are prenatal influences that are gender based. What is obvious is that gender plays a significant role when it comes to the toys people select for their children and the way that toy companies market them. “Toys-R-Us” is a United States based toy company who has been taken to task for marketing designs that reflect or promote gender specific toys. It is wrong that toy stores, like “Toy’s-R-Us”, clearly divides the toys by gender in stores and in toy advertisements because it teaches children how they are supposed to be in order to be accepted by society, promotes aggressive behavior for males and a passive attitude for females.
Stereotypical boy toys are things like action figures and toy cars. These are both active and aggressive, which is “masculine” representing how men are supposed to be in society. Girl’s toys are often dolls, dress up, and toys that mimic household duties. That is stereotypical because its saying girls are passive, not active. It is setting standards that girls belong in the home for their future while boys get doctor kits or chemistry sets that give them higher goals. Introducing children to these gender role ideas this early is shaping them for the rest of their lives.
The world’s leading fast food franchise has an interest in the gender of its young customers. At McDonalds a very popular child’s... [continues]
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