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Wednesday, April 22 • 11:00am - 1:00pm
Blue or Pink: Toy Marketing and Gender Stereotypes

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Toys have always reflected the world that children are being prepared to enter, and by extension its belief systems. How are toys marketed to children differently based on gender? The purpose of this content analysis was to examine whether contemporary toys are packaged, priced, or colored to specifically appeal to one gender. In addition, we considered whether stores display toys in gender-specific or gender-neutral ways. Data were collected from six toy stores located in Asheville, NC. Three were local, independently-owned stores while three were corporate chains. We examined 200 toys marketed towards children ages 5-7. We designed a customized rating sheet that addressed category of toy, price, coloring, location in store, and related variables. We will then compare frequency of gender-specific toys vs. gender-neutral toys within our designated age group. We are especially interested in toys that might encourage particular career interests, which might influence children’s subsequent attraction to academic or vocational pursuits. Our findings will have implications for gender-based play patterns and, potentially, gender-segregated career patterns in the United States.

Wednesday April 22, 2015 11:00am - 1:00pm PDT
Wilma Sherril Center Concourse

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