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The Truth About Girls and BoysChallenging Toxic Stereotypes About Our Children$
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Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231151634

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231151634.001.0001

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Toy Choice

Toy Choice

Chapter:
(p.91) 6 Toy Choice
Source:
The Truth About Girls and Boys
Author(s):

Caryl Rivers

Rosalind C. Barnett

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231151634.003.0006

This chapter examines the idea that girls “naturally” rush to play with dolls and tea sets, while boys head for the guns and trucks. One study, involving a rhinestone gun and spiky tea set, has proven that even when children are presented with gender-typed objects, they are more likely to think about what “boy stuff” and “girl stuff” looks like when choosing a toy to play with, rather than base their decisions on any innate qualities of the objects themselves. These choices reflect the preferences of advertisers more than any basic gender differences, a clear display of the power of marketing. The chapter cites Dora the Explorer as an example of a gender neutral product, something that appeals to both sexes and utilizes the multiple intelligences theory instead of using gender as a premise for the character.

Keywords:   gender-typed objects, boy stuff, girl stuff, rhinestone gun, spiky tea set, marketing, Dora the Explorer, multiple intelligences theory

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