University of Central Oklahoma
In this research paper, we will be discussing the differences between “boy” toys versus “girl” toys. When you look at each category as a whole, both sides have strong implications on what the boy or girl will be doing later in life when they are older. In this case, I visited a Wal-Mart store in Oklahoma City and went to the toy section. One thing that stood out was the colors of each aisle or section in the store. The girl’s section was pink, purple, and made of mostly bright colors. The boy’s section had more red, green, and blue colors. Collectively, the number of boy’s and girl’s toys were split about 50/50, as there were about 2-3 aisles for each section. There were about two aisles that seemed to be for boys and girls both. To get a better look at the toys, I decided to take a couple from each section and study their purpose. The store clerk provided information on which toys are the most popular. After hearing what the clerk had to say, I picked about 2 or 3 different toys from each section. The boy’s section had a lot of Lego’s, action figures, hot wheels toy cars, toy guns, coloring books and stuffed animals. The girl’s section contained Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, easy bake sets, tea sets, toy unicorns, and pretend make-up sets. The toys that were chosen for examination were Lego’s, toy cars, action figures, Barbie dolls, toy babies and easy bake sets. I chose these toys based about their frequency throughout the section, so one can assume that the toys chosen are the most popular among children. My reason for choosing these particular toys was influenced by my own childhood experience. As a boy, I loved building with Lego’s, as did most of my friends. I also remembered my older sister playing with Barbie dolls and easy bake sets when she was younger, and that played a major role in my choosing of the girl’s toys. Results
After taking a look at the boys and girls section and getting a general idea of the toy sections as a whole, I started to examine each toy that I had chosen and their purpose for a child’s life. The girl’s side had quite a few “maternal” toys, or toys that gives the child the feeling of being a mother. Easy bake sets, baby dolls, make-up sets, and toy vacuum cleaners were just a few examples that would fall under the “maternal” category. The boy’s side leaned more towards entertainment and had fewer implications for their adult life. Action figures from a popular cartoon, toy guns, and hot wheel cars were the most frequent toys seen in the boy’s section. To calculate the percentages of each category of toy, I would say the action figures/Barbie dolls take up about 40 percent of the toy section. The second highest would be building block materials (Lego’s, Jenga blocks, tinker toys, etc.) at about 25 percent. There were also toys that did not fall under either category. In other words, they were gender-neutral. These toys consisted of stuffed cartoon characters, coloring books, puzzles, and Lego’s. The highest percentage of toys in this section was materials used for building and playing with these “building” toys has been proven to help a child think more critically. There have been studies that show children who play with gender-neutral toys are more accepting and comfortable with their counterpart gender. The gender differences of each category are simple. The girl likes bright, rainbow-like colors and loves to feel like a mother. In contrast, a boy just wants to be entertained by playing with his favorite cartoon character or chasing around his friends with a toy pop gun. Discussion
As stated in the Results section, the boy toys seemed to have fewer implications on their adult life than the girl toys. The girl’s side on the other hand, had much more “maternal” toys. Why do I keep using the word maternal? Take a look at the easy bake set and the baby doll. The easy bake set obviously...
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