Re 3: Many girls request gender-specific media

From: lizlansing (
Date: Mon Aug 23 1999 - 19:30:33 EDT

What I was tempted to write earlier when we were discussing gender-specific toys
is that a new culprit is the niche marketers. Out to sell toymakers on their
need for them - the marketers - they seek niches using gender-based research and
then build on them. All too often reinforcing of stereotyping is what it turns
out to be all about.

Another problem, imho, comes in the notion of marketing to kids "what they
want." Like the perpetuators of violence in the media, they sell the
stereotypes and then sell to the stereotypes - and then claim what they are
doing is just meeting the needs of their customers.

I for one advocate for the credentialing of people who sell anything to a
children's market. I would require at least 12 credits in child growth and
development, just as we do for child care workers. We would not dream of
letting teachers in the classroom without training, but we let anybody create
their toys, books (now controlled by publishing houses instead of children's
librarians), clothes, and all manner of entertainment and electronic media.

Can you imagine rock stars or Disney cartoonists having to take child growth and
development courses before they are allowed to cash in on kids?

Liz Homer
Michigan NOW Education Task Force

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Jan 04 2000 - 12:33:20 EST