Why is Lego going gender neutral? Research on toys and girls

Lego desires to construct a brand new world of youngsters’s play, and it’s beginning by tackling the age-old problem of gender bias in toys.

The plastic-brick toy big just lately commissioned a sprawling survey on attitudes towards childhood recreation and future careers for boys versus girls, and even in right now’s ever-more progressive local weather, it recognized some main variations. Its report—revealed Monday, on the Worldwide Day of the Woman Baby—reveals that girls are still held back by deep-rooted gender stereotypes, which regardless of the seeming winds of change, are arduous to shake.

For instance, regardless of a spate of selling campaigns from highly effective manufacturers together with Nike, Microsoft, and At all times, Lego’s report exhibits that “for many inventive professions, dad and mom who answered the survey think about a person, no matter whether or not they have a son, daughter, or each. They’re nearly six occasions as probably to consider scientists and athletes as males than as girls (85% vs. 15%) and over eight occasions as probably to consider engineers as males than as girls (89% vs. 11%).”

For kids, prevailing visions of male chemists and soccer gamers holds true, too. However that’s regardless of nice headway in breaking down boundaries to girls collaborating in historically “boy” actions: In keeping with the report, a wholesome 82% of girls “imagine it’s OK for girls to play soccer and boys to apply ballet,” and girls are usually much less restrained by or supportive of typical gender biases than boys.

Nonetheless, boys appear to battle extra with the thought of crossing the gender divide, as 71% of boys say they fear about being bullied in the event that they play with a toy usually related to the opposite gender, whereas solely 42% of girls have the identical concern. Moreover, 74% of boys imagine that some actions have been meant to be strictly male and others strictly feminine, whereas solely 62% of girls shared that view. It might appear that at the same time as girls have been impressed to chase success within the traditionally male-dominated fields of sports activities, arithmetic, and sciences, the reverse has not been occurring as boys should not inspired to take traditionally feminine roles. A chief government of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media—the group based by the eponymous actress, which carried out the survey for Lego—told The Guardian that’s partly as a result of “behaviours related to males are valued extra extremely in society.”

As for a way dad and mom raised their youngsters, daughters have been typically nudged towards cognitive, creative, and performance-based endeavors, and sons into bodily, STEM-related ventures. Girls have been extra more likely to be skilled in dance (81% vs. 19%), cooking/baking (80% vs. 20%), or dressing up (83% vs. 17%). In the meantime, boys have been extra more likely to play sports activities (76% vs. 24%), or have program video games (80% vs. 20%) or coding toys (71% vs. 29%). However in line with specialists, meaning we could possibly be lacking out not simply on the following feminine with Mark Zuckerberg’s laptop smarts, but in addition the following male with Anna Pavlova’s grace or Julia Baby’s whisk.

And, after all, the construction-oriented Lego firm could possibly be lacking out on the wallets of hundreds of thousands of oldsters with daughters: In keeping with the examine, simply 24% of girls have been inspired to play with Legos, in comparison with 76% of boys.

Whereas Lego didn’t describe any particular edits to its merchandise going ahead, it launched a brand new marketing campaign known as “Prepared for Girls” that celebrates feminine creativity, that includes an 18-year-old robot inventor from the United Arab Emirates and an 11-year-old founder of a school marching band in Japan. Previously, Lego has come below fireplace for advertising and marketing to girls with pink-colored bricks, magnificence parlors, and cupcake bakeries, whereas providing Star Wars and Avengers-themed playsets for the boys.

Lego’s survey included almost 7,000 dad and mom and youngsters aged 6-14 years outdated from China, Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Russia, U.Okay. and america.