Gender Roles and Kids Toys Essay

Gender Roles and Kids Toys Essay

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Gender Roles and Kids Toys


In David Barry's article, Guys vs. Men, he discussed the differences between "guys" and "men". This article made several valid points, including that guys will try and out perform each other where sports are concerned and that the space shuttle is the ultimate guy toy. My question is why do only guys play with all the neat toys?

Part of the answer to this question might be that men are encouraged to play with hi-tech toys while girls are given a Barbi doll or a toy oven. The best time to see how these differences are encouraged by our society is during the Holiday season. The toys I have seen for boys are mainly Star Wars action figures or Nintendo 64 games. The toys advertised for girls were mostly easy bake ovens (that now makes M&M cakes) or Barbi dolls with various accessories.

I am not saying that a Barbi doll is necessarily a bad thing, besides the fact that some of her outfits are frightening, but I would rather have the life like rocket that can fly a 100 feet up before it returns to the ground. This discussion might appear superficial at first, but there is an underlying problem to why a parent might want to encourage their young daughters to play with a science kit instead of deciding what evening gown Barbi looks best in. A lot of the toys designed for boys might also be used as a learning tool. When a boy plays with legos and starts to create buildings he is developing his creativity. This act could lead him into a career as an architect or engineer. When he is encouraged to play with rockets or a microscope he has the potential of developing an interest in science that could lead him into a career working on satellites.

The kinds of toys that young girls are encouraged to pl...


... middle of paper ...


...der Wars. The object of this game is to select what gender the player wants to be. Once the gender is selected the player tries to destroy the opposite gender. This games appears interesting, but it has the potential to create more conflict between men and women.

Encouraging girls to play with different kinds of toys might also help the girls to understand men a little better when the girls grow up. If they share a common interest then it is possible that they will reach an understanding of what can be expected from the opposite gender.

Works Cited

Lunsford, Andrea A. and Ruszkiewicz, John J. The Presence of Others 2nd ed. St. Martin's Press, 1997
excerpt Barry, Dave Guys vs. Men1995

Bureau of Labor Statistics Data 12/3/97 http://stats.bls.gov/cpsatab1.htm

SCi (Sales Curve Interactive) Ltd. Software (C) 1996 http://www.gtgames.com/games/genderwars/

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