Toys and Socialization
Pick any two action figure type toys- one which represents girls and one which represents boys. (If you do not have these toys, stroll through the toy department at your local store; use a magazine ad; borrow some from a friend or neighbor; Google an image…) Answer the following Questions based on these two toys.
1) Who are the action figures you chose? Which gender most likely plays with this toy? Why do you think so?
Toy 1: The first toy is young model. Female because of some of the physical attributes portrayed like hips and breasts.
Toy 2: A small soldier. It is male because of the muscular body and broad chest.
2) What colors appear on this toy?
Toy 1: Pink body with white patches on the legs and hands
Toy 2: Green with grey patches
3) If this toy could come alive what is it:
Toy 1: Female
Toy 2: Male
Toy 1: 22 years old
Toy 2: 26 years old
c. Occupation/function in society?
Toy 1: A young mother who is a care giver to her family.
Toy 2: A soldier meant to fight in military battles.
d. What would it say? What kind of would it
Toy 1: “Please come and help me with the grocery”. It would be a soothing voice.
Toy 2: “Hold fire”. It would be a commanding voice.
e. What would its personality be like?
Toy 1: Silent, glamorous and happy.
Toy 2: Dominant, aggressive, competitive and active.
f. Body Type? (Physical Attributes)
Toy 1: Beautiful feminine figure, well kept and styled hair, long legs and slim.
Toy 2: Muscular with a serious look.
4) How do children play with this toy?
Toy 1: Make the toy ‘catwalk’ like a model.
Toy 2: Use the toy to fight other toys; this is symbolic of a soldier in a military battle.
5) What do children learn from each of these toys about themselves? Others? Social norms? Gender roles? Be descriptive, use examples and terms learned in class.
Each of these toys gives children a couple of lessons. This depends with the kind of toy that a child is using. The first toy is mainly used by girls, while the second toy is popular among boys. The toys pass down paradigms of gender responsibilities. Since the toys are gender based, more often than not, girls learn how to nurture, as well as how to stress on the importance of physical beauty and appearance (Karres 198). This toy also teaches girls the compulsive worth of outward show for societal tolerance. Mattels well known as “Barbie” should partially take roles for the picture perfect girls. Out of “Barbie’s” look, young girls contemplate the absolute, eye catching, and socially convectional woman, is slim, but well gifted, cheerful, silent and fashionable.
On the other hand, toy 2 teaches boys “soldier like” responsibilities and the need to be physically fit. Boys learn to be competitive, active, determined and assertive. These toys teach them that violence can be used to elucidate complications (Blakemore, Berenbaum & Liben 355). Boys also learn that being active and self-confident often correlates with brutal activities and games involving fight. A well known male toy by name, “My Tool Kit” teaches boys harmonization and problem elucidating skills required to live on in the external world. Industrialist make these boys’ toys beneath the typecast that boys succeed at things that require advanced level of cognition.
Toys that are designed to specifically suit one gender and not the other encourage gender stereotypes in the society (Benson 169). Those designed for girls encourage them to focus on household chores, as well as beauty. The toys that are created for boys foster aggressiveness and the ability to take risks. These stereotypes may end up hindering the children from being all rounded in a manner that will help them deal with real life situations appropriately.