*** children boys' toys gender destinctions

Children's Toys: Gender Destinctions

Figure 1.--Almost always children pictured with dolls, baby chaiages, or doll houses are girls and not little boys still wearing dresses.

We notice some toys that were gender destinctive. Toys like dolls, dollhouses, jacks, paoer dolls, teas sets, and other toys were generall seen as girls toys. Toys like balls, blocks, chemistry sets, erector sets, guns, sailboats, and sports equipment as well as video games today are generally seen as boys toys. Of course there was no absolute destinction. we see boys playibng wuth dolls and girls with balls. A factor here was the gender of older siblings. These destinctions have also varied over time. It is now much more acceotable foir girls to engage in athletics than it was only a few decades ago. Feminist argue that these detinctions are socially based. That boys play with guns because they are encouraged to do so and likewise girls play with dolls because they are also encouraged. To an extent sucg socialization pressures probably do have some effect. Genetic enginnering over time is also a powerful force. Those who work with young children know tht boys and girls are wired differently and that gender differences are not entirely the result of the socialization process.

Girls' Toys

Some toys almost always indicate that the child is a girl. Some girls' toys do provide useful clues as to the gender of the children in unidentified photographs. Thus they can provide information. Of course toy information is not absolute. Some younger boys pklayed with dolls, especially if they had sisters. And girls plyed with hoops and balls. Other toys were enjoyed by both genders. There are some toys, however, that were primarily associated with girls, including dolls, doll houses, jacks, paper dolls, and others. Some feminists claimed that such gender stereotyping is culturally enduced. This may explain coutry differences. And this appears to be partially true. It is also clear that children do have inate gender preferemces for certain kinds of toys. Not all girls like dolls, but a lot more girls like dolls than boys. And the same is true about toy guns and boys. Some of the toys even provide helpful fashions information. One of the most obvious is paper dolls, but doll clothing is also interested.

Boys' Toys

Some toys almost always indicate that the child is a boy. Few items are more universally desired among boys than balls. There are of course a wide rasnge of different balls. Some are made for younger boys just to bounce. Others are made for many different sports. Bikes with many of the modern features began to appear in the 1880s and were very poular with children--especially boys. One of the most popular toy with boys are toy guns. Modern parents, mostly the mothers, will refuse to buy guns or let their children play with toy guns. Interestingly, little boys without toy guns will simply use any handy object, pretend it is a gun and blast away at his friends. Almost always the children pictured with guns are boys. I'm not sure just when the first erector sets and chemistry sets appeared, but it was probably sometime after the turn of the century. Almost always the child involved will be a boy. Erector Sets were the serious child architect's version of tinkertoys. Trains were big, powerful, and noisy. All characteristics which attracted the interest of boys. Most of the children interested in model railroads were boys. Sailboats were another hug favorite with boys. Sports until the 1970s was primarily the chummy reserve of boys. This was particulrly true of the late 19th century. (Modern sports were just beginning to evolve at the beginning of the 19th century.) Almost always children pictured with sports equipment are boys. Almost all boys, while they may look askanse at dolls, delight in toy soldiers. For years the toy soldiers were metal, but beginning in the 1950s, plastic soldiers--pale imitations of the metal ones began to appear.


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Created: 5:52 AM 6/28/2004
Last updated: 8:50 PM 1/17/2009