Most Americans agree that boys and girls learn to like different toys but the country is split on whether or not parents should raise boys and girls to play differently
At the beginning of August Target announced that they would eliminate gendered signage in their toy and kids' furnishings sections. This means that no longer will there be different aisles for 'boys toys' and 'girls toys' in Target stores. The store said that they are making the move so that customers don't feel pressured to purchase or not purchase certain toys just because of the gender labels.
Research from YouGov shows that most of the country agrees that this difference in preference when it comes to toys is not inherent. 52% of Americans say that boys and girls learn to like different kinds of toys while 30% say that children are born liking different kinds of toys.
Conservatives and more religious people are the most likely to say that boys and girls are already born with different preferences, but even then they are divided. Conservatives just tend to think that children are born liking different toys (44% to 43%), but the most religious Americans narrowly think that kids learn to like different toys 47% to 39%.
The divide is far starker when it comes to whether or not young boys and girls should be raised differently. The American public is evenly divided on this question, with 41% of Americans saying that boys and girls should be raised differently while 42% say that they should be brought up the same. Liberals (70%) overwhelmingly say that boys and girls should be raised alike, while nearly two-thirds of conservatives (62%) say that they should be raised differently.
The issue of gendered toys is a relatively new phenomenon, as toy companies have increasingly branded toys as being for boys and girls, something that was nowhere near as common forty years ago when erector sets and play kitchens were marketed at boys and girls alike.
Image: Unsplash (Tanaphong Toochinda)