Lego says it will work to rid its toys of harmful gender bias

The corporate famous that its findings are based mostly solely on daughters and sons, as a result of no youngsters recognized as gender non-conforming in any of the seven international locations surveyed: United States, China, Japan, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic and the UK.

In summing up the examine, Lego says that “ladies are prepared for the world however society is not fairly able to assist their progress by means of play,” pointing to gender biases towards its personal merchandise. As an illustration, 76% of oldsters mentioned they might encourage their sons to play with Legos, in comparison with 24% who would suggest it to their daughters.

“New analysis commissioned by the LEGO Group reveals that ladies at the moment really feel more and more assured to interact in all sorts of play and inventive actions, however stay held again by society’s ingrained gender stereotypes as they get older,” it mentioned.

Different takeaways from the examine embrace:

  • Women really feel much less restrained by typical gender biases than boys on the subject of artistic play. Some 74% of boys, and 62% of ladies, expressed perception that some actions are meant only for ladies whereas others are meant for boys.
  • Women are additionally extra open to completely different sorts of artistic play than what their dad and mom and society usually encourage, with 82% of ladies believing it is okay for ladies to play soccer and boys to do ballet — in comparison with 71% of boys.
  • Boys additionally face prejudice on the subject of taking part in with toys historically perceived as female. The survey discovered that 71% of boys say they fear about being made enjoyable of in the event that they play with a toy usually related to the opposite gender, however simply 42% of ladies do.
  • Mother and father are virtually 5 occasions as prone to encourage ladies (over boys) to interact in actions like dance and dressing up, and greater than 3 times as prone to do the identical for cooking and baking. Then again, they’re virtually 4 occasions as prone to encourage boys to interact in sports activities and greater than twice as seemingly with coding toys.

Researchers say these gender stereotypes influence youngsters’s artistic growth and, in the long run, their potential profession paths. Mother and father are six occasions as seemingly to think about scientists as males than ladies, and greater than eight occasions as seemingly to think about engineers as males than ladies, in accordance with the Geena Davis Institute.

The constructing blocks of Lego’s plan

Lego has pledged to collaborate with the Geena Davis Institute and UNICEF to take away gender biases and dangerous stereotypes from its merchandise and advertising.

It additionally revealed a 10-step guide for uplifting inclusive artistic play, and is releasing quick movies to focus on inspiring and entrepreneurial ladies as a part of a brand new “Prepared for Women” marketing campaign.

A spokesperson instructed NPR over e mail that the survey reinforces longtime firm priorities, noting as an illustration that clients haven’t been in a position to search merchandise by gender on-line or in Lego shops for years. As a substitute, they will select from classes like age, theme, curiosity and value vary.

The corporate wouldn’t elaborate on whether or not it’s planning any adjustments to particular toys or advertising campaigns. However the spokesperson highlighted a few of Lego’s ongoing efforts, like testing all product franchises with each girls and boys and publicly spotlighting robust female and male function fashions in interviews and at occasions.

A rising push for gender-neutral youngsters’ toys

Lego’s efforts are a part of a rising development to make childhood toys extra inclusive. The truth is, the corporate’s announcement got here simply days after California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation requiring giant retailers to have non-gendered toy sections starting in 2024.

The regulation will not prohibit shops from having boys’ and ladies’ sections, however requires them to keep up a “affordable choice” of youngsters’s toys and objects in a gender-neutral part. Shops that do not comply would face a positive of as much as $250 on their first offense and as much as $500 for his or her second.

Supporters of the regulation say it should assist improve freedom of expression for youngsters and fogeys, and word that merchandise marketed to women typically value extra. Conservative critics say the state mustn’t intrude with enterprise house owners’ freedom to market their merchandise.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see extra, go to https://www.npr.org.

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