Gender Roles And Toys

Posted on August 21, 2018


As I mentioned in class today, Target decided to eliminate “girls” and “boys” labels in the toys and home decor sections.

“This change is a step towards removing gender limitations in childhood, but when one of the world’s largest retailers does this, the ripple effect will be significant,” author Melissa Atkins Wardy said in her blog, Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, which promotes gender-neutral toys, apparel and other products for children.

“This change will play a role in shifting the way kids see themselves as consumers and will help to shift the way adults see the role of gender in childhood,” said Wardy, author of “Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween.”

Toys are one way that society reinforces gender roles through social learning theory. Children learn by reinforcement, punishment, and observation, and toys and the interaction with them by parents and children are a key component in children’s learning of social roles and gender roles.

If you were a tomboy who liked to play with action figures, this should come as welcome news.