TERESA YUNG

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It’s a Girl? (It’s a Boy?)

Are toys made based on what chil­dren, boys and girls, like to play with, or do boys and girls learn what they should be play­ing with based on what is bought for them? Is the toy mar­ket shaped after nat­ural instincts we nat­u­rally develop as chil­dren, or are the mar­kets cre­at­ing the toy pref­er­ences themselves?

This year-long inves­ti­ga­tion was to study the con­struc­tion of gen­der stereo­types and gen­der roles dur­ing child­hood devel­op­ment. The study began with iden­ti­fy­ing and sep­a­rat­ing reoc­cur­ring sym­bols in tra­di­tional and mod­ern prod­ucts designed for chil­dren. The sur­pris­ingly mod­ern tra­di­tion of babies being wrapped in either pink or blue depend­ing on their sex at birth is also played upon.