Gender Stereotypes Through Children’s Toys
How does marketing reinforce gender stereotypes through children’s toys?
1. Visit a big box store website (e.g., Target or Walmart) or the children’s section of a department store. Be sure that the store has a decent number of toys so for you to make a comparison. Please state what store's website you looked at for the activity and provide links to all of the toys you described.
2. Take notes on 2 toys or games marketed to boys and 2 toys or games marketed to girls. Can you tell which are the girls’ toys and which are the boys’ toys? If so, how? Pay attention to the location in the website, packaging, color, and nature of the toy. How are the toys different? How are the toys similar? Try to find 2 gender neutral toys and compare them to the gender stereotypical toys. Where in the store's website are they located? Are they labeled as gender neutral? Are there any differences in the way they are marketed?
3. For your assignment, you will write a 2 - 3 page narrative about what you observed. Make sure to start with an introduction that includes the date, the link to the store's website that you "visited." Based on your notes, address the questions in #2 above. Remember I can not see what you see, so please provide enough detail to be clear. As stated in the grading rubric, write your activity in complete sentences with transitions, using appropriate sentence and paragraph structure. Avoid writing like a text message.You may include pictures of the toys that you are describing - pictures really bring the comparisons to life.
4. Analyze the relationship between how the toys are marketed according to traditional versus egalitarian gender roles. Analyze means understand the content and structure, to break information down into its component parts, explore the relationships, compare and contrast, and to categorize or differentiate (e.g., you may analyze the appearance of boy and girl toys and relate that to traditional versus egalitarian gender roles; in other words, what does it say about what it means to be a man or woman? Is culture taken into consideration?). Be sure to end with a conclusion.
Underline and bold class concepts that you use to describe your experience. This helps me determine that you understand the concepts.