society and gender: toys in stores

After entering the business, I thought back to my early years. The only thing that had changed about the store's layout was the presence of nicer toys that reminded me of the toys I used to play with as a child. The different areas were clearly divided into boy's and girl's toy categories. In actuality, the girls' area was painted pink, while the males' area was painted blue. The fact that the store has designated distinct genders to sell its wares also astonished me. There was a neat guy from the man's area and a well-dressed lady in the girl's section. The neutral cabinet had no representative which also revealed that parents pay little attention to such toys after all. The girl’s toys were cheaper than the boy’s toys. The girl’s toys were comprised of pretty teddy bears, small oven, dolls and some little plastic home appliances. On the other hand, the boys' section was stocked with sports toys like a football, handball and even drums, all which has some degree of masculinity in them.

Question 2

The toys were indeed related to some adult gender roles. For example, in the boy’s car section, I noticed that there was an array of vehicles that represented soldiers, a boat representing a fisherman and a piano. The girl’s toys were more feminine and detailed. For instance, the different dolls were dressed up like tiny adults; there was a teacher doll, a nurse doll and one who just looked motherly. Besides, there were some plastic spoons and knives which the children would use as toys in preparation for their adulthood.

Question 3

The boys’ toys looked masculine. Most of the toys were either colored in green or blue that further differentiated them from the pink and the purple version of the girls’. The toys also seemed to promote some creativity and generating motor skills. For instance, the boys' section had some coloured blocks that the boys would arrange to a certain design. There were plenty or tracks and cars for the boys, something that would perhaps horn their adult skills.

Question 4

The girls’ toys had a feminine touch to them. To begin with, the colors were attractive and the texture was tender. Most of the toys were either colored into pink or purple. Most of the dolls had fur in them and they also were gentle to touch. I also noticed that the girl’s toys promoted beauty and elegance, nurturing and also domestic skills. Every Barbie doll, for instance, was accompanied by a comb and a set of clothes. The clothes were meant to instill a sense of responsibility for the young children.

Question 5

There were toys that were indeed gender neutral in the store like the piano, drum, teddy bears, kites and football. The neutral toys also did not have specific colors as some of them were colored in white, brown and beige. I discovered that some parents do not like limiting their children’s world and hence may choose to go for the neutral toys, especially when they have a set of kids in the house. It was however not surprising that the proportion of the toys was about 20% as the entire store was stocked with gender specific toys. The store evidently paid more attention to the customer’s needs as most parents choose colors and toys that suit a particular sex.

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