Vox Pop- “Does it bother you?”
We asked our fans on the Mamanpourlavie.com Facebook page to share their thoughts.
“Does your little boy have a doll or your little girl a toy truck? Do toys have a gender? Have you ever been criticized for having offered a toy to your child that is traditionally destined to the opposite sex?”
I have never received any negative comments. I will not prohibit my daughter from playing with cars or trucks. She has a garage and has a lot of fun playing with it! However, I have often heard comments from fathers who will not accept that their sons play with dolls or babies, even if their son asks for it.
Prejudice comes from parents, not children….
My son plays with dolls with his sister and my daughter plays with trucks with her brother. I have absolutely no problem with that! However, I must admit that they both mostly play with toys associated with their own gender and that toys of the opposite gender are more for occasional play.
My children only have an age difference of 18 months, therefore when my 3-year-old boy wants to play with cars, his 21-month-old sister wants to play as well! The same thing goes for dolls: we had to make sure we bought two strollers for Christmas so there would be no fighting! What is important to them is playing together. The “gender” of the toy is not important.
I have dolls in my kindergarten and it never crossed my mind to forbid boys from playing with them.
We have two beautiful boys, captivated by all kinds of things, from cars to dolls, play kitchens to hockey! Who said that taking care of a baby and cooking is only addressed to girls? It’s 2010! We are very proud of our sons
Toys do not have a gender; it is adults who genderize them. Sincerely, I have trouble understanding why some toys have been attributed a specific gender… mom drives the car; dad makes supper and changes diapers, what is the problem? Our children tend to imitate us; it is normal for them to want a toy that corresponds to the person that they want to mimic.
My three- year-old son has a baby doll (that I bought him) and I do not have any problem with it. With the help of his doll, he learned how to be soft and caring, and today, he is very gentle with his little brother. When I take care of my baby, my oldest son likes to imitate me with his baby doll.
Sexualization of toys has also changed for these second millennium parents:
- Toys made for children less than two years of age have no sexual connotation. The same toys are given to boys and girls.
- Two and three years old seems to be the turning point in age where toys start to become sexualized. It’s explained by the fact that it is the age when children are potty trained. The absence of diapers has children asking questions about their private parts and parents explaining the differences between genders.
- Girls now have access to every category of toys and games, even if they express the desire to play exclusively with masculine toys (drills, Zorro, masculine figurines).
- Boys also have access to toys that are either masculine or feminine.
However, parents still seem to show certain signs of reluctance. Boys have to mix genders in the way they play. In other words, both father and mother are not likely to allow their son to play exclusively with feminine toys (play kitchen, vacuum cleaner, feminine dolls…). That being said, sexual differentiation in toys seems to be of lesser importance nowadays compared to 30 years ago. Nonetheless, myths and beliefs concerning the power of toys and sports on the sexualization of children still withstand. The parental speech on this matter is alarmingly ambivalent: children can play with all sorts of toys, just as long as they do not spend too much time playing with toys of the opposite sex!
Source: The study Les jouets ont-ils encore un sexe?, by ABC+ for the Observatoire Fisher-Price on the attitudes parents have towards differences in toys for boys and girls.