Toys for Girls and Boys

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・4 Sources

The majority of our culture today thinks that having baby boys playing with dolls rather than arms and bulldozers is scandalous. However, some people, especially those fighting for gender equality, believe it is common for children to play with any kind of toy as long as it is appropriate for them. In her article "You Can Give a Boy a Doll, But You Can't Make Him Play with It," Christina Hoff Sommers addresses this issue. On December 6, 2012, the article was written. Swedes are so committed to gender equality that they fund the Egalia pre-school, where students are not separated based on their risk. Unfortunately, there is a problem with total intolerance to gender disparities because girls and boys have different needs, propensities and interests. Behavioral modification and biology give evidence that complete gender parity cannot be attained. While Swedes are fighting for complete gender parity in schools and in the kind of toys for boys and girls, scientific research as described by Sommers convinces me complete intolerance to gender disparity is ineffective. Rather, children should be allowed to play with what they want and incorporating a tolerant understanding of gender identity and preferences.

Sommers said that Egalia and gender neutrality toy catalogs face problems with different interests, propensities or needs between boys and girls. The proposition by Sommers is correct and thus an important factor that needs to be considered when implementing gender parity policies. Important to note is that society encourages stereotypes of masculinity and feminity. This explains why when parents go shopping, the will buy soft dolls, cooking pots and brightly colored clothes for their children. On the other hand, they will buy balls, police cars and dull colored clothes for their boys. Moreover, when these children are taken out for shopping and asked to pick the toys of their own preferences, boys will tend to pick cars, trucks, and nerf guns while girls will tend to pick dolls. Naturally, this shows that boys and girls have different interests that are reflected in the kind of tools they chose to play with. According to Orenstein, the new friend's collection that was based on an anthropological research shows that boys and girls play differently with toys (Should the World of Toys be Gender-Free, para 5). As such, even when institutions insist on providing all toys from all sexes, boys and girls by default of existing gender-based differences cause them to go for toys that interest them most.

Sommers says that Biological and behavioral modification is possible but then it does not substitute for gender parity between boys and girls. Usually, when the modifications are reversed, then boys and girls go back to their true self and play with toys are designed for them. Truthfully, social and cultural factor plays a major role in influencing the way girls and boys behave in a society. However, modifying their behavior does not necessarily mean that both boys and girls are equal. In this essence, I am reminded of my biology lessons that explain that women and men have different hormonal compositions that define their behaviors. Modifying behavior is like forcing children to act in a given way. If there were no differences between boys and girls, then many incidences of girls crying for toys meant for boys would be seen. The vise verse is also true. Contrary, most boys, and girls only long for toys meant for them. Krissy says that it is crazy to ignore the biological gender difference between boys and girls and using biological means to make both boys and girls identical the does not create equality (Gender neutrality isn’t equality, para 8).

Sommers think that gender neutrality is a social engineering that is not morally and ethically right. Biblically, engineering that modifies the biological composition of boys and girls and making them act in a certain way is not ethically and morally right. Naturally, it may not be possible to make boys act the same way as girls do and it also may not be possible to make girls behave exactly the same way boys do. Christianity would rather let boys and girls act in their natural form and such modifications are offensive to God. Also, the new social engineering violates the traditional code of conduct that has for a long time shaped the way boys and girls behave. However, it is better to have children play with whatever toys they want to play as they get a chance to learn from it (Grinberg, Let Toys be Toys, 47). Gender neutrality would require use of force and laws; rather difference should be acknowledged and instead provide equal reources and fair distribution to both boys and girls.

Truthfully, there is a need to have societies that advocate for gender equality and equity. Gender equality will allow for both men and women to have equal access to resources in society while gender equity will make it possible for societies to treat both women and men in the fair depending on their capabilities. However, moves to increase equality and equity need to consider there is an inevitable difference between men and women. Therefore, it is not right for Swedes to be completely intolerant of identity differences. Evidently, even if all toys are mixed up or colored with more neutral colors does not prevent girls from playing with toys based on their preferential interest and boys the same. Importantly, societies need to be tolerant and understand gender identity difference and thus allow children to play with toys according to their preferences.

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Works Cited

Emanuella Grinberg, CNN. "The Science Supporting Gender-Neutral Marketing - CNN." CNN, 2017,
Breeze, Krissy. "Gender Neutrality Isn't Equality." The Breeze, 2017,
Orenstein, Peggy. "Opinion | Does Stripping Gender From Toys Really Make Sense?." Nytimes.Com, 2017,
Sommers, Christina. "You Can Give A Boy A Doll, But You Can't Make Him Play With It." The Atlantic, 2017,

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