The Contention of Gender Related Infant Trinkets


Hot wheels and barbie dolls are both the types of toys found in separate toy section. This is a commonplace strategy that links colors such as blue for the boys, and pink for the girls. Toy stores utilize this tactic to make sure that the two genders will not cross over and the Screen-shot-2011-11-01-at-5.54.20-PMmale/female aisle won’t be mixed so the customer won’t feel feminine or masculine for looking at the wrong toys.

No, this does not permit young boys to look at that cool model car dangling from the top shelf, but instead dissuades young girls from entering the aisle as the car is described to be more ‘masculine’ in her eyes and therefore will skip the aisle. This is due to the inherited color scheme that is perceived to be more masculine or more feminine, and therefor passively forces girls to go for pink colored objects and boys to be entranced by blue color schemed objects. Not only does color stand out as a factor, but so does the objects primary function (ie non motorized miniature automobiles and pink plastic horses). This is backed up with data shown in 2011 through 24-month infants and their personal preference to cars and dolls.

But the distinction does not implicate that the gender must take the certain toy. Studies conducted in 2011 with 12-month old infants yielded that boys look at dolls as much as girls, and vice versa. The preference degrades over another 12 month period for the boys liking more cars and the girls like dolls more. This study breaks through to the conclusion that the instinct is rather innate, and boils down to preference of the acquired taste of the customer, or in this case, the toddler. This breaks the myth that the boys are stuck with playing with toys that are dedicated to them as a marginal percentage of the boys studied in the experiment still chose the doll, and same idea with the girls and cars.

Does this mean that you cannot buy a distinguished colored toy for the opposite gender/sex? No, instead we should normalize and make all toys accessible for all types of genders. Thus giving the freedom of cars and dolls for all genders and ages, without quarreling about color or gender restrictions. And of course, as long as the infant is content with the toy and can continue to spend countless hours playing with it.



One thought on “The Contention of Gender Related Infant Trinkets”

  1. Indigo, I find that I agree on the most part with your argument about the nature of the children’s toy market. There has definitely been an effect of advertisement on the toys that children of each gender purchase, and the study that you cite support this. Despite this, however, I wish that you would also have looked into the ways that parents and their upbringing affects the toy preference of children. That aside, it was a very concise and well written article that is effective in presenting and supporting its main points.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s