Toys and gender: Some other thoughts

KatherinH (
Thu, 24 Oct 1996 17:36:50 -0400

I'm finding this discussion of Lego/toys interesting and it all suggests a
number of things that I'd like to toss out. (1) There's a research and public
awareness project anyone doing a project or research on the messages
girls and boys are getting via toys--perhaps something like a "Killing Us
Softly" version--videos/curriculum that helps students/parents/teachers/youth
leaders examine the messages and then take action. Is anyone doing this that
you know of? Is there a funding source for something like this? Anyone
interested in this as a collaborative project? (2) What are some of the
exciting ways that legos and other toys/tools are being used to support gender
equity? I know that there's been a lot of interesting work with LOGO Lego (and
I'll get those references to folks) but would be interested in how teachers and
others are using these toys or others to help build creativity, critical
thinking, gender- and race fairness into their work. Are there things at the
different childrens or discovery museums that we should be sharing here on
EDEQUITY? (3) Another research idea--how do the kids feel about these gender-
indicating do they create their world view of boys/girls/toys/
messages. I remember when my children were young (many moons ago, according to
them) I was often upset by something they said or saw or whatever and when I
wanted to help them "critique" the messages, they'd roll their eyes and explain
to me that the offending message "was just make believe, no one really thinks
that.'" Have others had similar experiences? Is there any research on this?

I'd love to hear from others on these ideas/ Thanks, Katherine Hanson, WEEA
Equity Resource Center

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