Gender Roles and Children’s Toys

Recently I have had a lot of dispute with my friends (female and male) about the types of toys we should choose for our children. On a world wide spectrum, society says I should give my son toys such as trains, guns, wrestlers, and tools and those of us with girls should give them makeup, barbies, and cooking utensils. My son does have these toys but once I mentioned getting him an Easy Bake Oven is when the dispute began. Of course the males said absolutely no, some of the females were for and some were against. I believe that some toys/activities for children that are categorized as masculine or feminine are completely gender neutral. The Easy Bake Oven is a kitchen appliance. Males cook as well as females but since society says a woman’s place is the kitchen is it automatically associated with women and feminosity. I can say that there has been some change in world views recently. When I was a child the original oven was pink. A few years ago, I started  to see blue and pink ones with both boys and girls featured on the box. This made me happy that someone opened their eyes to the fact that there is nothing wrong with boys and this toy. They love it just as well as the girls do. A recent  interview NAEYC conducted with a professor from Connecticut University supports gender neutral toys for the development of children’s physical, cognitive, academic, musical, and artistic skills but what do we use to distinguish what is “for boys” “for girls” or “for both”? Do we follow the norms? Go with what the church says? Or create our own morals and values and live by those?

148 thoughts on “Gender Roles and Children’s Toys

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