Gender Labeling Of Toys Essay

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People develop a sense of identity from early childhood due to the internal and external factors that are exerted upon them. From the moment a baby is born, the social construction of gender is in process. The first question most parents ask the ultrasound technician is whether the child is a boy or a girl, and the answer affects the treatment of the child almost immediately. It virtually continues throughout the remainder of life. Family are the people who will initially influence a child’s perception of themselves and how others perceive them. Sociologist Sarah Gardner states in her article that "The idea of the social construct of gender is that society defines what it means to be male and female. Society prescribes appropriate roles for …show more content…
In mid-1900 's, however, that was not the case. According to researcher Elizabeth Sweet, seventy percent of toys were gender neutral (qtd. in Robb). Vanessa LoBue and Judy DeLoache performed a study to examine the gender labeling of toys and the effects on children seven months to five years old. Each child had the ability to choose between two objects; the only difference was that one was pink and the other was blue. The children seven months to two years old chose blue the most. It was not until the age of two that girls began to choose pink over the blue object. At the age of two-and-a-half, the preference for pink was obvious in the girls, and the boy’s aversion to pink was evident (Robb). The pressure forced upon children to solely play with their respective entertainment outlets and merchandise, force them to conform to the roles given to them by society. They may continue those views of gender roles later in life possibly restricting them from partaking in jobs, careers, and even hobbies that go against the norm of their gender. Tara Culp- Ressler referred to a study done by Pereira that focused on the harmful effects of gender norms on children …show more content…
For instance, even girls who enjoyed sports often avoided physical activity at school because they assumed it wouldn’t be a feminine thing to do, they worried they might look unattractive while running, or they were mocked by their male peers for not being good enough. The girls also put themselves on diets because they believed desirable women have to be skinny. (qtd. in Culp-Ressler)
An effective way to begin to remove gender stereotypes is to remove gender labels. While gender labels are still in place on items that tell children what they can and cannot play with, stereotypes will continue to advance

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