Re: Toys and gender

JMason (
Mon, 14 Oct 1996 10:32:46 +0000 inquired:
> It seems to me that toy packaging,
> merchandising and advertising reinforce gender-typing of toys and
> games and is something I would like to include in an article I am
> working on. However, I have been unable to find any research that
> may support my contention. Does anyone know of any study that has
> looked at this particular subject?

This is an important question and one that begs for lots more
research. A quick search on InfoSeek for "toys" and "gender" reveals
that Justine Cassell, at MIT, is working in gender and technology and
in particular doing some research in children's choices/use of toys
with respect to gender. Go to
<> ; that may then
suggest other connections. Also, though not exactly research, you
should see what's become a classic work, Barrie Thorne, _Gender
Play_, on children, play, and gender.

Are there any industry publications or documentation that would tell
you why/how toy manufacturers design toy packaging as they do? I
suspect packaging and marketing of toys is explicitly designed with
the gender stereotypes in mind. Any proof of that?

John Mason

The Center for Contemporary Education at The Park School
Park School, Old Court Road, Brooklandville, MD 21022
School Office: 410/339/7070 Center: 410/339/4188
Email: WWW:

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