“Room the baby itself, but yes definitely it’s

“Room number 305, 3rd floor on the left,”
answered the nurse after I asked her about my mother’s delivery room. While
waiting the elevator, all I was thinking about whether I’ll have a baby brother
or a baby sister. Mom always refused to announce the gender of the baby,
keeping it as a surprise for the whole family. And finally, the elevator
arrived, I entered it, going up, counting the floors one after one until I
finally reached the 3rd floor. I felt as if it took me a whole hour
just to get out of it. Suddenly, I couldn’t hear anything except the sound of
my heart, beating so fast form excitement.”Room 305 on the left…”repeating
it over and over while searching to find it. The moment I spotted it, I ran
quickly toward the room, entered it in hurry without even knocking the door,
and here was the surprise. A room full of pink decorations, pink balloons, pink
ribbons and pinkish toys everywhere. No! I didn’t see the baby itself, but yes
definitely it’s a girl. I wondered how easy it is noticing one’s sex from
simple symbols or signs. Yet the baby isn’t able to know or have no idea about
all these traits that were immediately considered part of his/her life. Former
prime minister Tony Abbott once said ” Let boys be boys, Lets girls be
girls”, after all , it all begins within the childhood where toddlers are
brain washed to what they consume through the chosen toys they have between
their hands. From that moment, only one thing stroke my mind, it is the role of
colors and toys in forming gender differences.

            Entering the world of kids, the moment they are born, they
are subjected to a certain type of toys without even choosing what sort of toys
they would like to have or play with. In the society we live in, parents and
adults tend to give their children toys according to their gender. For example,
if she’s a girl she must have a pinkish fluffy toy whereas if he’s a boy he
must have a blue speedy car. Therefore, kids are no more learning or
experiencing their own interests nor building their own traits. It seems to be
a normal issue for parents or adults not to be aware of how toys affect their
kids mentality and behavior, but in the childish world toys are everything,
children create their life journey through those toys. All of that is a result
of some sort of myths where historical stories are being invented to end up as
natural facts and explanations to people, where it is hard to break or change
them due to those fixed beliefs. It is that serious and important to notice
what gender creates, on the moment you are born, half of your life is formed
upon to what is seemed natural to the society. In my research paper I’ll be
arguing about the role of children toys not only in affecting their behavior
through metal development but also in the gender inequalities and stereotypes
they form.

1.     
Children are impressionable

Kids are born as a blank page, they have no concept of who they are
and who they should be. And here begins the role of the parents where they tend
to supply their children with these answers. Thus, we can say that they are
highly impressionable. These ideas are inserted based on the parents’
background and the society. From the moment they are born baby boys and girls
are treated differently as if they were different categories. Therefore,
because of these differentiations, children form their gender identity where
they will have the ability to label themselves and others as boys and girls.

Toys are considered the tool for children to earn practically
physical and mental skills. It is the first step to get involved in the world
of making decisions, learning skills, thinking critically and gaining
confidence in order to develop their personality. But what if the toys given to
these kids are structured upon what society believes is true without giving the
chance for the children themselves to choose what they feel close to. Starting
from age 3, children will be able to designate which toys and activities are
assigned for each gender. By limiting their ability, they are being raised on
interests they won’t experience by time but interests as a result of what is
culturally known. Kids usually do not know how to make decisions but it is
important to give them the opportunity to have different choices in order for
them to choose what they think they are familiar with. And because children are
fast learners, they consume information and behaviors that surround they
unconsciously like a sponge. Therefore, giving a baby girl a well-dressed
Barbie with all her makeup needs and accessories, teaches the girl that her
duty in life is to take care of her beauty and focus on the outer appearance to
look like dolls and search for perfection, thus attract opposite gender.
Whereas for baby boys, they tend to give them rough toys like weapons, cars,
trucks, and so much more in order to build the sense of masculinity and
dominance. Social learning theorists pointed out that parents reinforce
sex-types activities in children as long as 18 months. They give them toys
based on their gender and respond more positively when their sons play with
tucks or when their daughters play with dolls. Playing with the other sex’s
toys is directly associated with homosexuality. If a boy liked to play with
dolls, there’s a fear that the he will grow up to being homosexual. This goes
back to each culture and their understanding of homosexuality and the reasons
behind it.

An experiment done by BBC news, showed how people used stereotypic
behavior with toddlers without actually being aware of it. In this experiment,
a baby boy wore a girl’s dress and a baby girl in a boy’s clothes. They brought
in adults to a room full of cars, dolls, animals and fluffy pony. Without
knowing the gender, these adults figured out what toys should be given to each
child based on their clothes. The girls wearing boyish clothes was given cars
and tools whereas the boy wearing a girly dress got the dolls. All in all,
results showed that the chosen toys where based on the gender of the child not
on what they prefer to play with.

2.     
Attitudes

Parents usually are unaware and have no idea about the effects of
gendered toys on their children’s mental development. When it comes to the
father he wants to see his son’s personality as copy of himself, raising him up
on the same track, same rules thus having the same traits. So to be a real man
later on, he must play with weapons and violent toys to build a strong and
brave personality. The same thing applies on the mother, she treats her
daughter on some makeup tutorials, buy her makeup stuff , high heels, and a
pony for her charming prince to come and see her ready to become his wife.
Therefore, the boy becomes that strong rough man who saves the world and the
girl is that cute creature that has no job except to wait for this man.

Starting with toys children begin to associate certain tasks and
behaviors with men and women. For example they link domestic toys and tasks
with girls such as cleaning, cooking sets, play house and dolls whereas tools
and cars with men. There are no rules that specify which task should be for
each gender; our culture is behind the reason these gendered behaviors exist.
The culture specifies the set of attitudes, behaviors and duties that are
viewed as appropriate for each gender. A study by Williams and Deborah Best
(1990) showed that the most stereotyped traits are softheartedness, gentleness,
and weaknesses are associated for women while cruelty adventurousness and
aggression are for men. Parents encourage boys to participate in sports more
than they do with girls because of their belief about different abilities
between genders. In other words, women are expected to be more emotional while
men to be aggressive. Women are also expected to be thin and elegant while men
are expected to be muscular and tall. Parents also tell their children what
behaviors are acceptable and which are not based on their gender. It is fine
for boys to be noisy and mischievous but it is no suitable for girls to be so.
Girls should be calm and well-behaving according to our society. These
stereotypes are harmful for the individuals as they won’t allow them to express
themselves the way they want. For example, men are not allowed to cry because
they should be muscular and “big boys do not cry”. These stereotypes also limit
girls from being independent or even smart. By breaking these boundaries,
individuals can follow their ambitions and act the way they like

3.     
Skills and Careers

Children’s future expectations are based on toys they play with. Toys
play a huge role in preparing the kids for the upcoming challenges in different
fields. They form a serious role in creating in the children’s mind the way
they imagine themselves in the future.  Most
of those who are facing problems because of gendered toys are women, where
these toys limit their expectations to get involved in all sorts of sciences,
technological and political fields. Thus, masculinity dominates over feminism.

What’s so important to know is that different toys given to
children serve different and specific messages about what is suitable for each boys
and girls. We can notice that the girl’s toys include dolls, nursing and
cooking and cleaning sets. While when it comes to boys, toys involve action
such as construction, technical, and machinery models. These toys give children
an image of what is expected from them in the future. For girls, they might
believe that their role when they become adults is to become a housewife, raise
kids, clean their homes and cook. They might also believe that their work
fields are limited to teaching, nursing, care taking and being a secretary.
These jobs according to our society require femininity. On the other hand, boys
are projected to become engineers, doctors and business men. While nursing and
doctoring  might look similar, people
find it bizarre for a boy to be a nurse. It is carved within us that nurses are
supposed to be girls. Girls cannot aim to become an astronomer or a pilot but
they can be teachers or nurses.

According to OSN figures, more than 80% of the work force in
science and technology are males in contrast to 82% of workers in teaching,
care taking and other services are females. For example, only 9% of nurses are
males in America.

For some, they might think that there are no differences between
what’s being given to girls in comparison to those of boys. Toys help children
in discovering their surroundings and giving them a sense of who and how they
should be. Children games play a great role in developing their cognitive and
intellectual skills. According to research, building and construction toys help
the most in developing critical skills. These kind of toys are usually absent
between the girl’s toy sets and are more present for the boys. We see lots of
building blocks and legos for boys while girl’s toys tend to be more on the
care-taking side ( Lopa, 2016). Children have to use their critical thinking
and reasoning. They also help with their problem solving skills; when something
does not work or fit they have to find other ways. These toys also help in
increasing the child’s attention span and focus.

4.     
Toys and stereotypes in media

Through movies, music videos, television shows and advertisements
children get an idea about how each gender should be and act. Media can send
harmful and confusing messages about gender stereotypes. On T.V. shows, women
are usually shown as housewives with their houses always clean and tidy, their
children are always healthy and they are organized and good-looking. They
usually do not have jobs; they are “stay at home” mother and often
are submissive to men. On the contrary, shows and movies show men as the
decision makers and the bosses. Cartoons also show stereotypic images for
genders. In most cases the strong, undefeatable super hero is a male while
females are portrayed as feminine and delicate. Most cartoon shows have the
male as the leader and the main character of the show. Even if females were
given roles of a hero, these females usually have a male under their hand that
supports them. In addition, men are characterized as smart and clever who
always find solutions for all problems. As for advertisements, women and men
are portrayed in totally different ways, where advertisers try to deliver the
product according to what people view as natural to each gender. This huge
influence of media made it so natural for children to form their identity, it
is seldom to see an ad for a cooking product or a food with a man acting in it.
Similarly it is weird if we see a women advertising for a car but it is so
normal if a man advertises for the same car but portraying women as sexual
objects and part of this product .In addition to that, we never see an ad where
a girl is playing with cars and tools, and vice versa.

5.     
Counter argument (Patriarchy)

However, toys had never created any gender stereotypes, it is a
natural tendency for boys to lean towards tougher toys than girls.
Biologically, hormones form gender differences in people’s DNA that affect
their behavior as men and women. In addition to that, brains are structured
very differently between the two genders which play a huge role in forming
one’s identity. Due to the differences in the brain structure, women developed to
become the care givers in the family, while men became providers of the family according
to

 

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