It’s not your 5 yr old son, it’s you
In an article from the San Francisco Chronicle by Margot Magowan, she argues that parents are the ones choosing to provide segregated toys for their children and these toys are limiting their brain development by placing a boundary on their experiences. She tells parents, they are the ones with the wallet, they need to ignore marketing and buy wisely. The idea of children and gender related toys has always been and is becoming even more widely seen today. It is very common that we give a girl the gift of a doll and a boy the gift of a toy truck. Elizabeth Segel also references this idea when explaining children’s books.
“Adults decide what books are written, published, and offered for sale, and, for the most part, purchased for children. (course packet pg. 67)”
Both authors are arguing that parents cannot blame their children for the toys and books that they have. The parents are the shopper and the parents are the one that purchase it for the child. Another issue they both bring up is that during childhood, our brains have more plasticity than at any other time in our lives. Children learn through play and the toys and books that children are exposed to while growing up will shape their attitudes and ideas about gender-roles. Magowan argues that these segregated toys will limit children’s learning because they are only experiencing half of the toys available. Segel argues that segregated books form their attitudes about gender-role behaviors. Encouraging children to try new things and move out of their comfort zone will enhance their learning as well as introduce an understanding of equality. This being said, it is extremely important to expose children to toys and books that are geared towards both the same and opposite sex.