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Lego to Remove Gender Bias from its Toys

Rastafarai

Well-Known Member
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  • The Danish firm says it will work to remove gender bias from its toys after report
  • Report found that boys feared being made fun of for using toys 'aimed at girls'
  • Lego commissioned report from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
  • Institute was founded by Oscar-winning US actor turned activist Geena Davis
  • Bosses at toymaker told the Guardian it aimed to make Lego 'more inclusive'

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Lego has announced it will work to remove gender stereotypes from its toys after a global survey the company commissioned found attitudes to play and future careers remain unequal and restrictive.

Researchers found that while girls were becoming more confident and keen to engage in a wide range of activities, the same was not true of boys.

Seventy-one per cent of boys surveyed feared they would be made fun of if they played with what they described as “girls’ toys” – a fear shared by their parents. “Parents are more worried that their sons will be teased than their daughters for playing with toys associated with the other gender,” said Madeline Di Nonno, the chief executive of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, who conducted the research.


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“But it’s also that behaviours associated with men are valued more highly in society,” said Di Nonno. “Until societies recognise that behaviours and activities typically associated with women are as valuable or important, parents and children will be tentative to embrace them.”

The study found that parents still encouraged sons to do sports or Stem activities, while daughters were offered dance and dressing up (girls were five times more likely to be encouraged in these activities than boys) or baking (three times more likely to be encouraged).

“These insights emphasise just how ingrained gender biases are across the globe,” said Geena Davis, the Oscar-winning actor and activist who set up the institute in 2004 to combat negative gender stereotyping and foster inclusion.


SOURCE
 

Rastafarai

Well-Known Member
And this provides an additional reason as to why I am leaving the USA. Children can no longer be children.

I remember playing with Lego and my parents not thinking it informed any bias for me or the kids I played with. Call me gender biased, but this movement has gone too far.
 
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OhTall1

Well-Known Member
Wow...I had no idea Legos were considered a "girls' toy". I came in this thread expecting to read how they in fact are trying to make it more girl friendly.
I think Lego has made an effort to make their toys more "girl friendly". I think they added more girls into the marketing and packaging for their sets where before they only showed boys using them. They also have some Disney based sets so yeah, girls can pretend to be princesses that build their own castles.

I wonder if the second part is the problem. Parents don't want to have their sons building Mickey's castle from the Magic Kingdom or the café set because now those are seen are girls toys, even though these are still sets that come in 100+ pieces that need to be built.
 

Leeda.the.Paladin

Well-Known Member
Wow...I had no idea Legos were considered a "girls' toy". I came in this thread expecting to read how they in fact are trying to make it more girl friendly.

lego has a line of toys targeted to girls. Its called Lego friends. It’s more for playing than for building. The boys toys are more about building than imaginative play.. The girls toys are bright pastel colors with girls characters. They do things like going to the amusement park or camping. The boy kits are usually super hero or work related like a tractor, airplane. And they have primary colors.

Having said that, my daughter enjoys building more. She likes the girls kits ok but says they are too easy. The last one she did was a Harry Potter train and station. She said that was one was easy too. She doesnt play with them, just puts them on a shelf or table lol. My youngest son however, likes to build and play. He likes the girl kits but usually puts Spider-Man or some other little man on them instead of the girls lol.

This is not the first time people have been upset about legos catering to different genders. I thought they did a study that found that even tho both genders like legos that boys enjoy different aspects: girls enjoy the imaginative aspect and the boys enjoy the building. I don’t see anything wrong with making them a bit more gender neutral if the point is to allow each child to get what they want out of the toy. But I think it needs to be done the right way.
 

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
I thought the legos needed to be a little more gender friendly when we used to play with them growing up. The "people" lego characters were ugly.
Looking at those above, I would have liked that more. I felt the original ones were lacking a variety of colors--the primary colors were such a BORE--YAWN! and I liked the newer stuff. I don't see why continuing to have the variety is a problem.

I don't think there will be any "right way" that's not gonna set some one off. Man I wish I had the one above when I was growing up. Maybe have boy characters or characters where the hair can be interchangeable and a boy head or hairstyle can be paired with a dress with the same playset above (if thats what the child wants---IDK *insert a big old SHRUG right here*)--Maybe that will neutralize it so much--since kid groups in real life are mixed with boys and girls.
 

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
In real life I don't think this will execute as some disappearance of things boys or girls and in between actually like because MONEY TALKS.

There was a thread about Target removing gender neutral toy labels but 6 years later what that CHANGE looks like is hard to determine. Having 2 daughters myself I can still zero in on the toys my girls want and I can find the other stuff they like such as marvel toys as well which is mostly catered to boys. Its not confusing or hard to find. same for their clothing. I know where to look. I don't think Target has "Boy or girl" labeled sections with kids. Its just sectioned off by age (toddlers, babies (0-3 mos, 6-9 mos, 9-12, 12-18 mos), boys, S/M/L/XL, girls, etc). Men and Women ARE labeled however. Boy/male looking clothing are still cut different i.e girl shirts may be more slender, and boy shirts/onesies seem wider which is as it should be)...Girly clothing, prints, outfits, skirts are not mixed in with boy clothing...

The bottom line is parents. If they cannot find their kid's favorite toy (or clothing), then that store is in trouble. So they are not out here trying to confuse parents or reject kid's preferences. Cause if they cannot find it, they won't buy it.
 

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
We overcomplicate everything honestly
Exactly. A great majority is pre-emptive wasted outrage. I was even worried back in 2015 but when I was shopping in 2016 I remembered that thread and was like---ION see no changes. Like I couldn't flesh it out. Online shopping is overtaking brick and mortar anyway. So people just search for the specific thing they want and keep it moving.

OTOH--if LEGO is being performative, let the LGBTQIA community call them out on it. Just like the black community have finally started calling out other companies claiming diversity in the media and doing nothing significant that reflects that.
 

yamilee21

Well-Known Member
When I was a kid, back in the dinosaur age, Legos were as gender neutral as a toy could get. But when all this pink princess nonsense became a much bigger thing, it became really hard to find the generic Lego sets… there were pink and lilac Legos for girls in the aisle with the Disney and “Friends” sets, and blue/dark Legos for boys in the aisle with the superhero and Minecraft sets. Even the Lego City sets and the Duplos became more overtly gender-specific. It was the stupidest devolution I have ever seen happen to a great toy. So if they are getting away from the focus on “boy” sets and “girl” sets, that is a great thing.
Maybe have boy characters or characters where the hair can be interchangeable and a boy head or hairstyle can be paired with a dress with the same playset above
Duplo people cannot be taken apart, but the regular Lego people have always had changeable parts. I don’t think any of my kids’ Lego people have all of their original parts. :lol:

I do think a big part of the problem stems from when finding out the gender at the 20 week sonogram became ubiquitous. Before that, you couldn’t plan out every single nursery item for a new baby before the baby was born. But since then, it seems that there has been a renewal of rigid reinforcement of gender stereotypes in everything meant for children, in really strange ways, such as pizza and dogs only on “boys” clothing, and ice cream and cats on “girls” clothing.
 

winterinatl

All natural!
I think Lego has made an effort to make their toys more "girl friendly". I think they added more girls into the marketing and packaging for their sets where before they only showed boys using them. They also have some Disney based sets so yeah, girls can pretend to be princesses that build their own castles.

I wonder if the second part is the problem. Parents don't want to have their sons building Mickey's castle from the Magic Kingdom or the café set because now those are seen are girls toys, even though these are still sets that come in 100+ pieces that need to be built.
That’s how I take this. Also, the star wars ones are def geared toward male/masculine stereotypes. I’m interested to see how they remove the bias.
 

Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Is the problem the gender itself or how it's represented? Is it that they don't want kids to see female vs male in toys because they think it'll hamper them establishing their own gender identity? Or is it that girl and boy toys are stereotypical in the types of roles depicted and they want to broaden the scope for all children? There's so much trans discussion lately that I'm not sure of the angle here.
 

Rastafarai

Well-Known Member
I mean, honestly it sounds like the problem is the parents don’t want their boys to play with girl stuff. Is that really on Lego to correct?

This. Gender is a fact. So is the fact that parents who raise their children will revert to gender norms and constructs to inform how a child is raised.

Now here comes this Geena Davis Institute funded by Hollywood that tells us that isn’t the way. And while they cannot help cancel individual parents they sure will cancel companies and persons with a platform who don’t support their agenda.

If being gay is something that isn’t learned or taught for most individuals, why can’t the same apply for being a girl or boy who falls into current gender norms??
 

Evolving78

Well-Known Member
In real life I don't think this will execute as some disappearance of things boys or girls and in between actually like because MONEY TALKS.

There was a thread about Target removing gender neutral toy labels but 6 years later what that CHANGE looks like is hard to determine. Having 2 daughters myself I can still zero in on the toys my girls want and I can find the other stuff they like such as marvel toys as well which is mostly catered to boys. Its not confusing or hard to find. same for their clothing. I know where to look. I don't think Target has "Boy or girl" labeled sections with kids. Its just sectioned off by age (toddlers, babies (0-3 mos, 6-9 mos, 9-12, 12-18 mos), boys, S/M/L/XL, girls, etc). Men and Women ARE labeled however. Boy/male looking clothing are still cut different i.e girl shirts may be more slender, and boy shirts/onesies seem wider which is as it should be)...Girly clothing, prints, outfits, skirts are not mixed in with boy clothing...

The bottom line is parents. If they cannot find their kid's favorite toy (or clothing), then that store is in trouble. So they are not out here trying to confuse parents or reject kid's preferences. Cause if they cannot find it, they won't buy it.
Target has it sectioned off by gender for boys and girls. I stay in Target! Lol Now Footlocker tried that mess and I had a problem with it shopping for my daughter. And this is coming from someone that wears boy’s -men’s athletic shoes.
 

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
Target has it sectioned off by gender for boys and girls. I stay in Target! Lol Now Footlocker tried that mess and I had a problem with it shopping for my daughter. And this is coming from someone that wears boy’s -men’s athletic shoes.
I missed the signs cause I don't even pay attention.

HOWEVER,
I stay in Target and I know my aisles and thus--where I need to go!
 

LivingInPeace

Well-Known Member
When I was a kid, back in the dinosaur age, Legos were as gender neutral as a toy could get. But when all this pink princess nonsense became a much bigger thing, it became really hard to find the generic Lego sets… there were pink and lilac Legos for girls in the aisle with the Disney and “Friends” sets, and blue/dark Legos for boys in the aisle with the superhero and Minecraft sets. Even the Lego City sets and the Duplos became more overtly gender-specific. It was the stupidest devolution I have ever seen happen to a great toy. So if they are getting away from the focus on “boy” sets and “girl” sets, that is a great thing.

Duplo people cannot be taken apart, but the regular Lego people have always had changeable parts. I don’t think any of my kids’ Lego people have all of their original parts. :lol:

I do think a big part of the problem stems from when finding out the gender at the 20 week sonogram became ubiquitous. Before that, you couldn’t plan out every single nursery item for a new baby before the baby was born. But since then, it seems that there has been a renewal of rigid reinforcement of gender stereotypes in everything meant for children, in really strange ways, such as pizza and dogs only on “boys” clothing, and ice cream and cats on “girls” clothing.
I was thinking the same thing. When I was playing with Legos, the sets were separated by age not sex. Everybody had the same Lego toys and we didn't think anything of it.
 
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