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 be gendered?
No, toys should not be genderedShow moreShow less
Gendered toys reinforce stereotypes and harm childhood development.
There is considerable evidence suggesting that playing with toys contributes significantly to a child's development.  In order to grow holistically, a child must be able to play with a wide range of toys, appealing to five areas of development- cognitive, social and emotional, speech and language, fine motor skill, and gross motor skill development. By prescribing certain toys to one gender, manufacturers limit a child's opportunity for complete developmental progress through play. If boys play with "masculine" toys exclusively, they will miss out on the valuable language and imaginative skills cultivated by dolls, kitchenware, and dress up games. Similarly, girls must use construction and other action-oriented toys to develop fine motor skills. We should not market toys to particular genders, because playing with both "boy" and "girl" toys is crucial to holistic development.
We need not discontinue the production of gendered toys to solve this problem. It is entirely possible to produce gendered toys that contribute to all five areas of child development. If gendered toys are not contributing holistically to child development, we must create toys that remedy this issue.