Learning Gender from Toys and Clothes

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Learning Gender from Toys and Clothes I visited Wal-Mart Thursday, 4/19/2012 and observed the toy aisle. The toys were segregated based on gender. You can’t really tell which items are intended for boys/girls. I want to touch on an episode of Wipe Swap that I watched on television. There was a 9 year old Caucasian boy whose favorite color was pink, and he enjoyed playing with Barbie dolls. Of course a person’s first instinct would be to assume he’s going to be a homosexual in his later years. But, given my viewpoint on life, I was interested in his thought process. Turns out his mother never imposed specific gender roles on him. The point im trying to make is you don’t really know what route your supposed to take until someone intervenes and tells you “right” from “wrong”. However, the toys that are offered for boys are: Batman, Ironman, LEGO sets, NERF guns, race car tracks, and remote control cars. As for girls: Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, horses & stables, Disney princesses, Dora the Explorer, Twilight memorabilia, and fancy art kits. The items I would consider neutral would be LEGO sets, action figures, horse stables, and stuffed animals. The store I selected for my observation was Wal-Mart. I knew which toys were appropriate based off of the segregation of the items. From the boy’s aisle to the girls, I think toys teach children to conform to certain roles of gender. However, I do not think a toy can teach instruct an individual on how to be a boy or a girl. I think it is based off of the upbringing of the child. The toys determine to be appropriate might affect a child’s movement. For instance, a boy who plays with Barbie dolls would attract other female children and start developing female characteristics. Also, playing with Barbie dolls may have the potential to cause that child’s interest to be altered. Clothing plays a major role in your life.

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