Gender Neutral Toys

1551 Words 6 Pages
There have been quite a few scientific studies on young children playing with gender neutral toys and being raised without stereotypes. Many sociologist agree that children playing with gender neutral toys is actually very beneficial to their development. According to Dr. Stephanie Sweet, a sociologist and lecturer at the University of California, Davis, “Studies have found that gendered toys do shape children’s play preferences and styles. Because gendered toys limit the range of skills and attributes that both boys and girls can explore through play, they may prevent children from developing their full range of interests, preferences, and talents.” Also, Jacquelynne S. Eccles Universities of Colorado and Michigan, Janis E. Jacobs University …show more content…
Teachers play a very important role in keeping their classroom stereotype free. One very important thing for adults who work with children to remember is to be honest when they ask questions regarding sexuality and gender. Children will benefit from being told the truth, rather than dancing around their question. Some examples of how a teacher can make a class room more including is to avoid words like “mail man, police man, fire man, stewardess, etc” and use the gender neutral terms for them (mail carrier, police officer, firefighter, flight attendant, etc.) According to Vivian Paley’s book, White Teacher, teachers need to make sure they pay attention to their own actions as well as their pupils. White Teacher is about a non-fiction account of Vivian Paley’s time as a “white teacher” at an integrated, predominantly white, elementary school. Although the book focuses on Paley’s response to racial stereotypes and dealing with these issues, one can use her same methods for gender stereotypes as well. In her book she emphasizes on instead of ignoring the problem, to acknowledge it and teaching the children how to accept difference into their lives. One quote from her book that is especially marveling is “Each child wants to know immediately if he is a worthy person in your eyes. You cannot pretend, because the child knows all the things about himself that worry him. If you act like you …show more content…
As discussed above, parents pre-conceived notions of gender have a huge impact on how a child will learn to see gender themselves. There are many ways to teach their children gender equality though. One example would be to allow their child to explore both stereotypical “boy” and “girl” toys. If the child prefers one over the other than so be it, but exposing them to both options allows them to have options. Another tactic parents should understand is to allow their daughters freedom, and their sons to be nurturing. Many times parents are overprotective of their daughters and that may discourage them from wanting to take risks in their scholastic and extracurricular activities. On the flip side, these parents will be harsher to their sons if they are too “whiny” or “nurturing.” Lise Eliot, an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and author of Pink Brain Blue Brain, speaks of even more ways parents can stop gender stereotyping in her book. Eliot directly challenges the thought that gender behavior is a biological gene. In Pink Brain Blue Brain, Eliot states “While we can’t erase – nor would we want to – all the differences between boys and girls, it’s clear that the size of the gaps depends on what parents emphasize and how teachers teach” (pg 16) This book is an incredible example full of information about

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