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Why We Need to “Degender” Children’s Toys (video)

Written by Marsha Rakestraw | Published on March 19, 2016 | Filed under Humane Connection
The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at http://humaneeducation.org/blog/2016/03/19/degender-childrens-toys-video/
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girl holding purple unicorn

 

by Marsha Rakestraw

“Toys are far more gendered today than at any point over the 20th century.”

In her TEDx talk, “Beyond the Blue and Pink Toy Divide,” sociologist Dr. Elizabeth Sweet highlights the genderfication of children’s toys over the last couple decades and outlines some of the ways the “blue/pink divide” can negatively influence children.

As Dr. Sweet says, “… we know from a wealth of social science research that the very same stereotypes that are the core defining feature of children’s toys today — those gender stereotypes lay at the root of many of the processes that create and sustain gender inequality in the adult world.”

She also dispels some of the concerns about “degendering” toys and touches on the important conversations we as a society need to have about gender and the changes she believes we need to make.

Watch the video (16:49 min):

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