Toys and Gender Neutrality Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1061 Words
Date:  2022-11-20

The primary focus of Osie Evans' article is to highlight children and parents' perception concerning gendered toys. The article investigated and argued about children's reasoning concerning gendered toys, and also attempted to establish a connection between parents' beliefs and children's toy preferences. According to Osie (2017) gendered toys are toys perceived to be suitable for a specific gender over the other - for instance, dolls for females and wheels for males. In his article, firstly, Osie (2017) agrees that toys are more than just a means to enhance entertainment among children. Secondly, Evans believes that toys are crucial in the development of knowledge among children. Lastly, Evans pushes the idea that toys shape the ideologies and perception of children towards the world as they grow.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

I agree with Osie (2017) idea that the traditional and modern societies have exposed children to gender-stereotyped toys to a greater extent. The subject is very significant in contemporary society concerning the increased awareness of gender equality which aims to shun gender stereotypes that have been existent for a very long time. For instance, Yeung and Wong (2018) explain that when one gets into a toy store, the majority of the entire toy floors and aisles are stocked by specific gender items.

According to Murnen, Greenfield, Younger and Boyd (2016), there are various theoretical perspectives concerning how children acquire gendered behaviors and gender stereotypes from childhood. The children learn the gender stereotypes at an early stage in life when their parents buy for them toys to engage them. Murnen, Greenfield, Younger and Boyd (2016) also explain that the social cognitive theory concerning gender development claims that every child learns gendered behaviors and gender norms primarily through observing their immediate surroundings, and the people living in those surroundings. Through watching the actions of people in such environments, the children copy them. It is crucial to reinforce gendered behaviors through behavioral rewards and punishments appropriately or inappropriately based on the experiences of the child. Concerning this, the acquisition of gendered behavior and the concept of gender is a socially constructed ideology. Yeung and Wong (2018) also explain that gender association is an essential influence on the gender-based reasoning of children.

Yeung and Wong (2018) further assert that children are likely to reason that specific toys are in a particular gender. Such children classify gender by just looking at the toy itself. The same research by Yeung and Wong (2018) also identifies colors of toys as an essential factor of classifying toys, and has a direct influence on the toy preferences and reasoning of the children. In such cases, the toys with pink colors are always classified to belong to the female gender while dark colors such as brown and black are for the boys. Toy manufacturers also employ color to market specific toys to a particular audience. Osie (2017) proposal of setting up gender-neutral toys is, therefore, a crucial step to enhance gender equality in the society. Osie (2017) further observes that such toys add no educational value to the children. The toys only reinforce dangerous stereotypes which children grow up with. It is because of this reason that Osie (2017) suggests that both parents have an essential role to play in the growth and development of their children. Fathers should play and active role in providing care and also performing household chores in a society where the mothers are equally engaged in other income-generating activities.

On the contrary, Dinella, Weisgram and Fulcher (2017) observe that toys should not be gender neutral because it is impossible to have all neutral toys. Dinella, Weisgram and Fulcher (2017) further assert that we live in a diverse society where people are different based on their social, political and economic capabilities. In line with this, there is substantial variance in the manner people are born. The substantial difference determines whether one is female or male. It is because of this reason that gender equality is a misguided ideology since people can never be the same. Dinella, Weisgram and Fulcher (2017) further assert that biologically, people can as well not have the same genetic make-up. Genetic construct clearly explains the diversity among people. It is therefore essential to embrace this difference and acknowledge. Boe and Woods (2017) however, suggest that mindfulness of others is the most important thing rather than advancing for gender equality. People should be mindful of one another, and appreciate each other despite the gender disparity, religious differences, and racial and ethnic identities.

Boe and Woods (2017) also wonders why there should be limits on how children play. The limits interfere with the principles of a liberal society. When the society initiates limitations on the liberty of children, and their right to play, the children get annoyed. It is crucial to provide children with the freedom to play with what they feel okay with, devoid of adults' opinion.

Concerning this, Osie (2017) article has strengths and weaknesses. The vital strength which Osie (2017) advances in his article is the fact that gender-stereotyped toys campaign for gender neutrality, and provides an opportunity to raise children in a non-stereotypical environment. However, the weakness of the article is that it attempts to initiate limits to children's freedom and the right to play through embedding "for boys" and "for girls" ideology.


In conclusion, the most critical factor which parents and guardians should consider when purchasing toys is the kinds of the message which the toy will send to their children. They should consider if the toy has an educational value to the child, and impacts the child with vital skills to survive in the surrounding. The introduction of gender-neutral parenting limits the freedom of children and gives the children unrealistic expectations on what to live up to.


Boe, J. L., & Woods, R. J. (2017). Parents' Influence on Infants' Gender-Typed Toy Preferences. Sex Roles, 1-16.

Dinella, L. M., Weisgram, E. S., & Fulcher, M. (2017). Children's gender-typed toy interests: Does propulsion matter?. Archives of sexual behavior, 46(5), 1295-1305.

Murnen, S. K., Greenfield, C., Younger, A., & Boyd, H. (2016). Boys act and girls appear: A content analysis of gender stereotypes associated with characters in children's popular culture. Sex Roles, 74(1-2), 78-91.

Osie, E. (2017). Opinion: Children's toys should be gender neutral. Retrieved from

Yeung, S. P., & Wong, W. I. (2018). Gender Labels on Gender-Neutral Colors: Do they Affect Children's Color Preferences and Play Performance?. Sex Roles, 1-13.

Cite this page

Toys and Gender Neutrality Essay Example. (2022, Nov 20). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism