Gender And Toys

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Josh Burgoyne Soc 100 Gender Paper When children view advertisements, what are the images that they are exposed to? The majority of the time children see stereotypical representations. Girls are presented in traditional roles such as playing house and cooking. Girls are also shown playing with dolls and being concerned with being popular and beautiful. Girls are also portrayed as being cooperative and more passive and less aggressive and competitive than boys. Boys on the other hand are shown seeking power, speed and physical action. Aggressive behavior is almost exclusively limited to advertisements targeting boys. Boys are also shown as being more independent than girls. One needs to look no further than the advertisements during Saturday morning cartoons to find evidence of these stereotypes. Commercial after commercial shows girls playing with dolls or makeup and boys playing sports, racing cars or battling action figures. Among the more popular toys for girls are Barbie dolls, Bratz dolls, stuffed pets to care for and make up. The girls in these advertisements are seldom pictured away from their homes, instead they are contently playing inside in their bedrooms or in their on backyards. The boys in the advertisements are allowed more freedom to roam the world. They are more mobile and active. The popular toys for boys involve more action. They actively battle each other through play with sports, transformers or Star Wars action figures. It is important to note that a clear distinction between a doll and an action figure has been created. Although an action figure would seem to resemble a doll, it has carefully been defined as a toy suitable for a boy to play with. Because of gender stereotypes, it is unacceptable for boys to play with dolls, but perfectly fine for them to play with action figures. The emphasis being on action rather than the caring and

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