Toys: Gender Roles and Stereotypes

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English 101
Pro. Jimenez

Most of us grow up assuming that gender roles and stereotypes are natural ways of being or behaving, so we generally don’t question them. From the day we are born we receive messages about male and female gender roles. We learn about them through a number of ways. A good example of stereotyping gender roles is to think about how babies are colour coded, girls in pink and boys in blue for example. The kinds of toys that little girls receive give messages about feminine traits such as; dolls, dress ups and fairies. The kinds of toys that little boys receive give messages about masculinity for example; cars, trucks and building blocks. Infant toys tend to be the same for both boys and girls. These toys are mostly multicolored, make noise, play a song, light up or roll around. However from ages one to four children’s toys begin to send distinct messages about gender roles. Girl’s toys start to appear only in pink, purple, and yellow and if modeled after characters have only female names. At this stage boy’s toys are blue, red, or green and have male names. Girls learn to care for their baby dolls and boys begin to gain interest in cars and action figures. Society starts telling children what is expected of them. However the main message that is sent is boys and girls are not the same. Boys are masculine and girls are feminine. Barbie Dolls were the most famous toys for girl for a long time. She wears a gown like a princess with her crown on her head. She has smooth long blonde hair, which girls really like to comb even though it’s already perfect. Girls like to dress her with different type of outfits; sometime a cowgirl with boots, or a schoolgirl with her tiny backpack, or sometime a beautiful bride with white gown, high heels, with loose low bun hair style. She looks just like a princess. When girls first read “Barbie Doll,” it reminds one of their favorite toys. Next, Playing with Barbie dolls can also help show good...
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