By: Ashley M. Austin
Teacher: Mrs. Phyllis Lembke
Class: PSYC-C148 Human Sexual Behavior
Date: February 24, 2011
There are hundreds of thousands of toys sold in stores all over the world that are geared towards a particular sex. Many toys are an extension of popular television shows on Cartoon Network and other stations that air animated and other live-action programming targeted for children. When watching a primetime channel on television, you can rarely watch a commercial break (especially during the day), that does not feature a commercial for the latest greatest toy on the market. The goal of this essay is to examine just a few toys that are aimed at boys and girls, as well as neutral or unisex toys, determine what makes them “gendered” or “neutral,” analyze how they are marketed, and assess what is accomplished in society by having such gender-based toys.
After looking at the online catalogue on Walmart.com, it was not difficult to find a plethora of toys aimed at boys, from trucks and race tracks to action figures of some of the most popular characters from movies, animated television programs, and so on. One of the first toys that caught my attention that is targeted toward boys was the Bakugan Special Attack Figure. Bakugan is a very popular animated television show that airs on Cartoon Network every morning that has a significant following of young males. It is about a group of friends who battle each other using their Bakugans, creatures that one day fell from the sky in the form of little balls that when used in a brawl can be called upon to open and show their true, very large form, and battle each other using their own unique attacks and abilities.
One of the reasons this toy is definitely geared toward boys is simply because it is a replica of one of the Bakugan from the series, an action figure, so to speak, that also comes with one Bakugan Ability Card and one Gate Card. The fact alone that the... [continues]
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