The first thing I noticed in the toy section of target is the separation of toys. How I first noticed the separation was not by the type of toys but the color of the wall the toys were being hung from. For the toys that were meant for boys the color of the walls were blue and for the girls, pink. There were also some sections of yellow which held toys that were mostly made for children under the age of three. While observing the toys that were targeted toward young boys I noticed a trend.
Gender, a social construct, is predominant from the moment a child is born, whether it is from parental influence, the media, clothing, or even children’s toys. These influences can affect the way a child learns how to “do gender”. The various toys, such as Barbie dolls and G.I. Joe action figures, My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Bratz Dolls, Power Rangers and most action figures that companies market to children of different genders reinforce stereotypical gender norms and perpetuate conventional gender roles. Parents should be conscientious when choosing their children’s toys because some toys can shape the overall learned gender norms of those children.
These societal influences are the leading cause relating to gender specific stereotypes. Boys predominantly play with trucks, soldiers, and tools and girls play with dolls, and kitchen sets. From greeting cards to toys, through marketing and advertising, stereotypical societal behaviors are encouraged on a daily basis. Overview of the Problem In conducting my field research, I frequented two stores that Parents most utilize for their children’s toys and greeting card purchases; Wal-Mart and Toys R US. I also went a little further with investigating; AmericanGreetings.com, Walmart.com, and Toysrus.com.
Girls will be encouraged to step out of their gender roles and play with a toy usually marketed to boys . There is nothing wrong with pushing children away from toys traditionally associated with their gender. Gender specific toys like vehicles for boys and dolls for girls should have nothing to do with one’s identity and sexuality. In early childhood, the toys girls and boys play with do not make a significant difference and is not going to send their child into a state of gender confusion. Presenting a wide range of toys for both male and female to engage in and play with illustrates to society that all options are open to both sexes.
The Article Is Your Baby Racist explores how we develop our perceptions of others from an early age. The study of how children and how they view those of other races offered up results that did not surprise me at all. In fact it reminded me of the baby doll test where a administer presents young children with dolls of different races and ask them questions similar to Brigitte Vittrup. Many whites in rural areas grow up a bit disconnected from those of other races therefore formulating conclusions from television and their own community. If all you see is those of the same race and complexion as you, and many shows portray those of different races as alcoholics, thieves, murderers, or completely ignore their existence at all, no matter how old you are you pick up on these things.
Commercials are about promoting and selling to one kind of audience, children. Their product must be appealing and often lie about the product but it gets it sold and children continue to want them. Article 4 (miller) Qualitative Differences among Gender Stereotyped Toys: Implications for Cognitive and Social Development in Girls and Boys According to what the article stated it was suggested that the early play experiences of girls and boys may contribute to gender differences in cognitive and social development, empirical support for this hypothesis is limited. (Miller, 1987) Such as girls or boys knowing the gender differences of toys and classifying them in a
Look for and heed age recommendations, such as "Not recommended for children under three." Look for other safety labels including: "Flame retardant/Flame resistant" on fabric products and "Washable/hygienic materials" on stuffed toys and dolls. Play teaches children how to interact with others and learn about the world. The toys you select for your young child affect his development. Your child's current developmental stage plays a major role in toy selection.
Matthew Krieg 3/5/15 Practical Aesthetics Professor Jackson Toy Story TOY STORY (1995)’s most obvious aesthetic is its revolutionary new animation style, for the time. Prior to the film, animated films had to been limited hand rendered animations that appeared two dimensional to the audiences, or to Claymation, which has a completely different look in general . However, the animation style with TOY STORY appeared completely three dimensional and was able to interact with realistic set lighting. Although this animation technology lacked the ability to produce rich textures on the models, this actually added to the film for the most part, since it produced very “plastic” looking models; perfect for modeling toys. The only time the animation looks out dated is when humans or dogs are shown in the film.
Further, when time comes, boys are given toy cars or toy robots to play and the girls are given Barbie’s and everything related to it to play with. Then, beginning from nursery school they are presented with the jobs they are expected to do in future, for example: boys are given examples of firefighters, police officers, doctors etc., girls are given examples of nurses, teachers, secretaries etc. ; and after they decide it, they start to pursue their goals by studying in schools and continuing in higher education institutes. It seems like the society shapes the gender roles throughout the whole lifetime of a person isn’t it? But it is not, let’s look why.