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Our research this year shows that retailers have made big strides forward in letting toys be toys, with boy/girl signage on the way out, and more imaginative adverts and promotional imagery. It’s another picture from toy manufacturers, whose packaging, ads and catalogue images still rely on stereotypes.
The recent White House conference examining the issue of gender in children’s media and toys shows how the issue is being taken seriously. Sociologist Dr Elizabeth Sweet, who presented her research at the event, shares her perspective on the day.
We’ve been taking a look at TV toy ads to see how they show children’s play, and what picture they give viewers about boys and girls. The results are pretty depressing.
It’s that wonderful time of the year, when the toy industry goes into overdrive trying to convince children which toys they desperately need Santa to drop down the chimney. But many of Santa’s surprises will have been produced and promoted in the belief that boys and girls should have different toys and should be targeted separately. ‘Tis the season for excessively stereotypical selling practices.
If you think toys and toy ads are trivial, just ask a kid how much they matter.
Research carried out by Let Toys Be Toys volunteers shows that toy ads reinforce limiting gender stereotypes, and sell children a narrow view of boys’ and girls’ play.
Download the full research report: Who gets to play? What do TV toy ads tell children about girls’ and boys’ play? Dec 15
Research highlights: Read more…
Hai Tiet is the man behind US online toy retailer Woozy Moo, but his background isn’t in the toy industry. He explains why he thinks running an inclusive toy store is an important way to combat gender inequality.
I was walking down the halls of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Higher Education with a colleague when she told me that she was looking for the women’s restroom, but a ministry official said there were none. There were none because, the official said: “Women using restrooms is disgusting.” Read more…