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Should children's toys be gendered? Show more Show less
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Traditionally, toymakers market their products to either girls or boys. The toy industry presents dolls and dresses as being girls’ toys, while cars and construction tools are for boys. In recent years, advocates have highlighted the presence of harmful gender stereotypes in such marketing tactics. Considering our society’s ongoing discussion of gender identity, should children’s toys continue to be gendered?

Yes, toys should be gendered Show more Show less

Girls and boys are different. By creating gender-specific toys, manufacturers simply cater to their differences.
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Gender-neutral toys would threaten traditional gender roles

If we stop producing gender-specific toys, children will not have toys that appeal to their differing societal roles.
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The Argument

As a society, we have recognized that girls and boys fulfill different societal roles for centuries. Naturally, girls grow up to become wives and mothers, while boys enter the workforce. The toy industry accommodates these differing societal roles with gendered toys. Toymakers understand that girls gravitate toward caregiving, creativity, and appearances, while boys tend to prefer more aggressive, action-oriented toys. The gender-specific advertising of toys merely appeals to the natural differences between girls and boys, mindful of their proper role in society. If we stop producing gendered toys, children will cross gender-barriers with their toys, thus threatening traditional gender roles.

Counter arguments

It is naive to assume that children naturally assume differing societal roles. For centuries, our societies limited the roles that children could grow up to occupy based on their genders. In light of our culture's recent re-evaluation of gender identity, we must stop prescribing certain societal roles to children, opting instead to let them choose their own path in life. Additionally, we should not view toys as a means of furthering certain societal agendas. Toys exist solely to promote the holistic development of children.


[P1] Traditional gender roles are fitting. [P2] We should protect traditional gender roles.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 17:11 UTC

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