Effects of Gender Stereotyping Toys on Children (Persuasive Speech)
When is the last time you saw a little boy playing dolls or dress-up with his sisters? What about by himself? When is the last time you saw a little girl playing with Legos™ or monster trucks? Many of you are probably thinking, “Well, never.” But why should that be the case? Have you simply accepted that dolls are for girls and monster trucks are for boys? I’m willing to bet that most of you have never even thought about how much of an affect these gender stereotypes in toys can have on the futures of children. They are actually deterring children from entering into some fields of work when they grow up. For example, only 11% of engineers are women and that has nothing to do with the capabilities of women to perform well in that career. If more girls were to play with the science-based toys marketed towards boys, would there be less of a gender-gap in some of these professions? Maybe there would be. A study was conducted that had preschool-aged girls play with Barbie Dolls™ dressed in uniforms for typically male-stereotyped jobs such as a police officer or firefighter. Before seeing the Barbie Doll ™, the girls were asked if they thought they could do those jobs when they grew up and most of them said no. But after playing with the Barbie Dolls ™, many of the girls completely changed their minds when asked again. One girl even responded saying “Well I’ve never seen a girl do that before, but yeah I think I could do that job when I grow up.” After just a few minutes of playing with these toys, these girls’ opinions of what they were capable of in life were completely altered. Children are incredibly easily influenced, so why not allow them to see all of the opportunities available to them if that is as easy to do as changing Barbie’s outfit of choice from a flight attendant to a firefighter. There is nothing wrong with allowing children to explore the world around them through toys. What...
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