Monday, March 31, 2014

Favorite Toys from Around the World

Julia, 3 (Tirana, Albania)
When my daughter was born I bought her two hefty Tonka trucks, one a grader and the other a gigantic dump truck.

I was going to make sure she had choices.  I didn't want my daughter to be conditioned to be a Barbie lovin', pink wearin', prissy little girl; she was going to play with trucks and baseballs and soccer balls and dolls and then decide what she liked best.

Well, the Tonka dump truck soon became a bassinet for her Cabbage Patch dolls and her little brother gladly traded her the grader for a plush lamb that just wasn't macho enough for him.

Are girls conditioned to want dolls?  Are boys conditioned to want trucks?  Are girls naturally attracted to more nurturing, mothering type toys, while boys want guns to go out and bring dinner home?

Henry, 5 (Berkeley, California)
An interesting book was just released called Toy Stories: Photos of Children From Around the World with Their Favorite Things by Gabrielle Galimberti.  Galimberti spent two-and-a-half years trekking through 58 countries asking children what they prized most.  I laughed at some of the photos because I recognized a few of these kids.

Take Henry from Berkeley.  I mean I have friends that live in Berkeley and yes, their little boys like trucks, planes, megatrons, dinosaurs, and snakes.  I mean, it's Berkeley, I can't tell you how many times I took my own son, the volcano freak, to the Lawrence Hall of Science.  He loved it, his sister not so much--although she thought the Planetarium was pretty cool (emphasis on pretty).

Enea, 3 (Boulder, Colorado)
On the other hand, there is Enea from Boulder, Colorado...and, yes, I also recognize him since I have a grandson who lives there...and, yes, Grandma did send him a cape (I mean who doesn't love caped superheroes), and, yes, he does attend a drumming class and I'm pretty sure I sent him a guitar for Christmas.

Then there are some really poignant photos.  The one that struck me the most was little Maudy.  She has the greatest "CHEESE" of a smile while sporting her yellow sunglasses.  This little gal's  favorite things, a box of plastic sunglasses, fell off the back of a truck.  What do you do with a box of plastic sunglasses?  She set up a market, of course, and then let the trading begin.
Maudy, 3 (Kaululushi, Zambia)

Maudy also reminds me of how much "stuff" we have in America.  I know the first trip I took to another country as a young person taught me one thing...we are so lucky.  We have clean water, toilets, doctors, and FOOD.  That's a good lesson to learn . . . go traveling young people!  But I digress . . .

Another photo that really struck me was of Pavel, a five-year-old from the Ukraine.  He was surrounded by toy guns and a Bobby helmet.  With the current state of affairs in that country, it's scary to see this anxiety trickle down to the playroom.

Here's what I noticed (at least in the few photos posted in the article) the kids whose parents had some disposable income were surrounded by what we would call gender specific toys - boys liked trucks, sports, guns while girls liked dolls and stuffed animals.  Kids that have nothing basically turned whatever they could find into toys, from sunglasses to gnarled dinosaurs.

Brainpickings states that this is a "visual catalog of the culturally conditioned imagination" which seems pretty obvious - it's hard not be conditioned by your culture unless you live in a cave all by yourself.  In spite of all our attempts to avoid culturally conditioning our children - give your daughter a truck, give your son a doll - these kids seem to gravitate towards gendered social norms, or at least they did a few years ago. 

Do you think that the current society is better able to give children freedom to pick their own toys?  Do you think that kids now don't have a need to conform to social roles through play? Would you give you daughter a truck?

38 comments:

  1. My favorite toys when I was younger consisted of light sabers and legos. Not because they were the first toys given to me, though, because they weren't. I was given barbie after barbie after barbie, but luckily, I had an older brother. These started out as his toys, but I somehow managed to keep them in my room and play with them almost more than he did. I completely agree that girls shouldn't be bombarded with pink frilly things as soon as they take their first breath, but I also think that they shouldn't be deprived of them by feminist parents if that's what they start to get into.
    Anyway... It's interesting to see what kind of toys other children favor. Especially the little girl in Zambia. It feels like sunglasses would be highly envied in a place like that so it's cool to think about the power and influence over others her "toys" give her.

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  2. I think that in an effort to break tradition, parents are trying to remove gender roles in early childhood and trying to implement toys typical of the opposite gender into their child's life. So, in that sense, there is no "need" to conform to social roles, because pushing just the opposite is now becoming more common.
    On the other hand, forcing your child to break those roles is just as bad as forcing them to conform. If a girl wants to play with dinosaurs and toy cars, she should be able to. If a boy wants to play with dolls, he should have the exact same option. The problem comes when it's more acceptable for a girl to play with boy toys than for a boy to play with girl toys.
    I think the bigger question isn't whether or not, if I had a daughter, would I give her a truck, it should be if I had a son, would I give him a doll? Personally, my children should be able to choose to play with whatever they want. Unfortunately, our society is biased, no matter how hard we try not to be. We try to stress young girls having the right to be a tomboy, which is completely fair, but what about young boys who want to play with girl's toys? Is there even a word like "tomboy" to describe them that isn't negative? In order to truly break social norms, it should be acceptable for both genders.

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  3. In my opinion society will always condition children no matter what society it is or when it is. We condition our children every day all the time without even realizing it. For example you see an adorable little girl in a sun dress you stop and say well don’t you look pretty in that dress. Just because she is a girl you go directly to her looks. Now you see a little boy playing on a playground and you stop and say wow you are so strong and so active. Everyday adults condition children and most the time they don’t realize it . When I have children I intend to provide my child with a little of everything. In doing so I hope to prepare her for everything not just to be the wife in the kitchen but also to be the wife fixing the car or the wife that works in the yard. I want my children to be prepared to do it all. I myself played with a variety of toys as a child. I remember loving ninja turtles and was even one for x-mas. With that said I am pretty girly now but I still played with many different toys.

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  4. My parents had 3 daughters, so growing up our house was filled with dolls and tea parties, dress up and princess movies. My sisters and I all grew up and were sent to an all-girls high school. Needless to say, I knew nothing about "boyish" toys. My mother is very old fashioned and did not believe in exposing girls to boyish things. I knew nothing about superheros- not their names, powers, or stories. It was not until April of last year when my statistics class watched The Avengers, and I was incredibly confused for the bulk of the movie. Last year was also when I started hanging out with a group of boys, and these boys became my best friends. Hanging out with them was so new to me, we'd toss around a football, go to Target and play with superhero toys, and watch action and war movies. And I loved getting exposed to it all. I wish my mom exposed me to "boy" toys as a kid so I would have been able to enjoy boyish things from the start, but I am grateful that I was shown the would of boys from the best- an actual group of teenage boys. It was a very nice break from all the estrogen I grew up with. These boys have become my brothers, and I enjoy hanging out with them and taking part in boy "things" more than I enjoy hanging out with my friends that are girls.

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    1. I think children should be encouraged to play with whatever toys they want. If your daughter wants a dump truck or a laser gun, great. If your son wants a doll or stuffed animals, that's great too. Society places too much emphasis on "gender specific" toys instead of letting the child choose what he or she wants to play with. Most of all, have them go outside and create their own fun!

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  6. The toys i enjoyed playing with when i was younger was barbies,baby dolls,ninja turtles,action figures and sports. I didn't grow up playing with just girly toys even though my parents would buy me the dolls and other girl toys i had an older brother who i loved to play with so of course when i played with him we weren't playing barbies we were playing with action figures, video games, and board games. The parents in the society mostly give their children toys according to their gender boys getting sporting good toys, action figures, and girls get dolls,barbies and coloring books.

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  7. I believe that what a person is drawn to from birth varies person to person. I do however notice a pattern that is a female is playing with trucks and getting dirty in the mud at school, she is most likely dressing as a tom boy and playing outside with the little boys. I can't say this is the case for every female that is drawn to the classic male activities, but I find that this is the case more often than not. As for a male child, some believe that if a little boy is playing with female toys after a certain age, he may be "gay" this is I find upsetting. Though I find nothing wrong with individuals being gay, I find it disturbing that people can immediately put a label on children who are just having a good time. In fact, my cousin of 8 used to play with his sisters "girly" toys and they had a great time together. If female and male children are introduced to what they are "supposed" to like, I feel that becomes a problem. If we show our children that it is wrong to veer in different direction, they will grow up with that mind frame. It would seem that a lot of parents take this sort of idea and put it into action. If you have an anarchy type view, this should not be a problem as this is another way of learning. Children do what they want. Some parents become excited when they find out they are having a boy or girl because of all the things they may have or buy for their child. This may present problems for the child depending on how far it is taken. I can say that if I were having a girl, I would immediately become excited about all of the elegant female clothing I could purchase for her. It varies from person to person from parent to parent. I do feel that this is very influential to everyone.

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  8. I believe that children should have the option to play with whatever toys they want, of course parents automatically asoom that just because they arebecause we have come along way and are beginning to see things for what they are and not for what they want them to be. I also believe that what kids like to do and the things like enjoy playing with also depends on there surroundings and what they there being taught and the environment that there in. I don't believe that kids need to conform to social roles through play because they should be free to express themselves in any way they like. I personally would buy my daughter a toy truck to play with if that is what she wanted or no she could it for other things a certain gender then they will want this, that, and/or the other but in the society that we live in today it doesn't matter and it shouldn't matter .

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  9. Yes now a days, kids have a lot more freedoms as to what they want to play with. Toys are more unisex these days. If I used that term correctly, An absolutely yes I would give my daughter a truck to play with , my mother did and I continued to play with them until I grew up and discovered real trucks and now I am fascinated by engines and fast cars. My hobbies are manicuring engines with my dad. Not a bad way to spend the day in my opinion. Playing with my toys.

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  10. Growing up, I would see commercials advertising toys, all kinds of toys; Mr. Potatohead, Betsey Wetsy, Barbie (and I'm not talking about one Barbie, more like dozens of different named Barbies, from Beach Barbie to Pizza Delivery Barbie to Volleyball Barbie, and so on) He-man, Thundercat figurines, Toy Cars, Toy Boats, Cabbage Patch Kid Dolls, Garbage Pail Trading Cards, the list is literally never-ending. I was the type of kid that was very fortunate in the sense that I was given many toys that other children did not have. Looking back, I would say that I was somewhat a brat because of being spoiled. I did have to work for my toys though. I never got toys for free unless it was my Birthday or Christmas. Chores mainly or whatever task my parents gave me. If I ever had a daughter, I would consider giving her many different sexually oriented toys to play with. That way I could observe what she enjoyed playing with the most. Personally when I was a kid I enjoyed playing with dolls, cars, waterguns, figurines, watersnakes, and my favorite was Dirt. I could make mud pies with Dirt. I don't know if that is considered a male or female driven toy to play with, but that was what I liked. So give children many options when it comes to Toys. You both will learn from each other. Happy Toy Hunting!!!

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  11. I think most children tend to be drawn to toys that are gender specific, mainly because of their surroundings. I think it has to do a lot with their parents, what their friends play with, and largely what they see on television. Commercials are extremely gender specific you never see boys playing with Barbie’s or girls playing with toy guns in commercials, which is why some children are drawn to specific toys. The cartoons they see too are also very influential because children will want the toys that are related to that cartoons they watch. Then when they play with friends they see the kinds of toys their friends have and want them so they can play the game, you can’t play guns with a Barbie. Parents have a role too, the author of this article gave their daughter a choice but didn’t really push the choices on her so she when with what she knew, I think parents now are becoming less concerned with gender roles. However there are still a lot of parents that what their children to play with the toys that are related to their gender, I know a lot of dads that would freak out if they saw their son playing with a doll. I think the best thing parents can do is just accept whatever toys their kids like to play with.

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  12. I found this article particularly interesting especially since I took a sociology class last quarter and this was a main topic in the class. It is an interesting point they make when they ask if whether the children are conditioned or not to like their certain types of toys. I liked what the mother did when she chose to give her daughters all types of toys, and then wanted to see which one the child chose to play with. It is surprising, yet not surprising that the young girl chose the dolls. In the sense that women and girls have naturally maternal instincts, it is obvious that she would have chosen the dolls instead of the dump trucks. However, at that young age when the pressures of society do not yet have the biggest influence on children, one would think that it could have gone either way. Overall, I think it is interesting that the young girl chose the dolls and the young boy chose the more masculine toys. Although it would be tricky for some parents, accepting their children for who they are really starts with "accepting the toys their children want to play with"(Favorite Toys From Around the World).

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  13. I think today's society does allow children more freedom to choose what they play with, some parents may dictate what their children play with because of fear their child may be gay or weird but I think people are more accepting of that possibility. When I was younger I had beanie baby's, little stuffed animals, that I dressed in card board armor and made weapons out of pencils and pen to go to war with my little brother who also had beanie baby's. I think parents may social roles upon their children by giving girls dolls and boys trucks but they can't force them to play with them a certain way. If I become a parent I would give my kids whatever toy they want to play with, wether my girl wants dinosaurs and trucks or if my boy wants a tea set and dolls.

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  14. As a little girl my favorite toys were always stuffed animals I was never really attracted to dolls, I did enjoy to play with trucks with my little brother. Is really important for society to give children the opportunity to choose their own toys. People today still believe that girls should play with dolls and boys with cars and gun, but is time to be a little more realistic and let the kids be without forcing them be something without knowing if the will even like. At this time of our life we are experiencing really high technology and for that children do not spend more time as before playing with their toy. Kids are now more attracted to iPhone's and i pad's/tablets and I can see why, because it has everything you can possibly think of. I would definitely let my son play with a doll and my daughters with a truck, I view this as a freedom to learn who you really are, so why not give them that chance.

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  15. I think that children are conditioned to like certain toys based on gender because society has very limiting standards on what they view is right. This is seen in Television where one can see how each gender is portrayed with generic like and dislikes, and many people hold this as the standard. I remember when my brother was 7 and told me his favorite color was pink. I didn't have a problem with that because mine was pink too, it still is. But when my brother started school here in America, he learned that it wasn't okay to like the color pink because he was a boy. In response, he changed his favorite color to a similiar color in the acceptable male spectrum: red. Additionally, I see this in my sister's daycare class where all the toys are seperated in either the little boys' corner or the girls' corner. I think it starts when kids are introduced into any social situations where kids are told what to think and what to like. There are those people that have likes that are not within the standards obviously. There are girls that do like dirt bike riding and trucks, and guys that do go into makeup school or even ballet. But we, sometimes including me, assume that they are gay. I myself have no interest in what is viewed as male pass times, which makes me think that maybe what I like IS based on what society thinks, and makes me wonder if I'm missing out on something out there just because I'm a girl.

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  16. Today I think that children are able to pick the toys that they actually want. When you walk into a store the first thing that you see is a bright pink girly section with all of the dolls and babies. Then if you keep walking you see the blue, dark section with all of the cars and monster trucks which is for the boys. When I was little I loved playing with dolls and trucks. I remember specifically bothering my dad to buy me a remote control truck because it was so cool! When I told people that I wanted it they made fun of me because I was supposed to be playing with cute barbies instead of trucks. I do know some children that play with toys that are supposed to be played by the opposite sex, which I think is amazing! Some children now don't really have to conform to social roles through play. They pretty much buy what they want but I know some parents don't want their children playing with other toys. My little brother wanted to get a doll and my mother yelled at him and told him he shouldn't play with them. It's very much dependent if their parents will actually buy those toys. When I have kids if they want toys the opposite sex is "supposed" to play with I will most definitely buy them those toys because they should be able to play with whatever toys they want.

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  17. I don’t think the current society is being more open about allowing children choose what toys that they want to play with. However, I know that my parents give my little sister, whom is now 7 years old, the choice in which toys she buys when they take her to the toy store. All my cousins that are the same age who grew up with her are all boys, so she grew up surrounded by rough, little boys. Once she was able to make her own decisions, she didn’t think girls had as much fun as boys because they had to be so proper and gentle all the time. She even cried when my parents had to admit to her that she wasn’t a boy. They were completely fine with her being a tomboy though, they just wanted to make it clear that she was a girl and not a boy.
    Despite the way my family felt, once she started going to school, her classmates were the ones telling her that it was wrong to like “boy things”. She was made fun of for wearing black and blue shoes and choosing jeans over dresses. Even at birthday parties, the parents made different favor bags for boys and girls. My sister was always more interested in the boy bag, but that made her feel left out once again. She still has does not have as much fun with girls who like princesses, but she has found a group of girl friends who like sports and cars just like her.
    I personally would give my daughter a truck because I feel there is nothing wrong with since I’m so used to my little sister playing with trucks. The way society is trying to make women equal with men can start in early childhood.

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  18. I don't think the current society is being open about allowing children to choose their own toys, its all gender based. For example if I had a five year old daughter and I threw her a birthday party the guests would bring her "girls" toys: dolls, barbies, etc. I highly doubt they would bring her any trucks because she's a girl and you just wouldn't give a "boy" toy to a girl.
    I think kids now have to conform to social roles through play because girls are supposed to do girl things and the same goes for guys. If a girl wants to play with boys during recess they are still subject to made fun of and teased. Society accepts it but not fully.
    I would buy my daughter a truck if she picks it out at the store.

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  19. I do not think that the current society gives enough freedom for kids to pick their own toys. When I was younger I was given barbies, kitchen sets, and dress up clothes. I remember going to the store and asking for toy cars. As I remember they were hot-wheels. My mother yelled at me saying, "No, those are for boys". I asked myself the question of why are cars only for boys? Don't women drive cars? When I attend birthday parties I always see gender specified toys. Of course that is what is expected because society is so accustomed to that idea. In the future when I have a daughter I would definitely buy her a truck. As a society we need to let kids know that it is okay for them to want dolls if they're male and trucks if they're female.

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  20. I actually took a child development course during my junior year of high school. There I found out that children are indeed conditioned to choose gender appropriate toys. Girls have a natural tendency to desire toys that teach them how to care and nurture while boys are rougher and want to learn how to do “manly” task. Another very significant aspect that comes into play in this topic is nature vs nurture. It has been proven that nature contributes to gender roles, but nurture is also very important. In today’s society it is definitely more acceptable to give children the freedom to choose their own toys compared to previous generations. The way people are nurturing their children in today’s society is different. Children now have the choice where it is acceptable to not conform to societies roles. In the future, when I have children of my own, I will give them the freedom to choose their own toys. My daughter will get a truck if that is what she desires and my son will get a doll if that is what he would rather play with.

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  21. I believe that toy preference varies and depends on each individual, though overall, girls do seem to show a preference towards “girly” toys, while boys choose “manlier” toys. Through my two year experience as a “pre-school teacher” through my High school child development class, I was exposed to about 32 children over all, 16 children per year, of about 2-5 years of age. Over time, I realized that during free time girls leaned towards the dolls and play house, over the cars and police/fire men costumes that the boys chose. Although this preference might stand, I do believe that children now have a bigger freedom when it comes to picking their own toys. I know for a fact that back in my parents’ time, the toys given to children were completely based on their gender. Now in most cases, children are free to choose what they wish to play with without being judged. I for one, would never think twice about giving my daughter a truck if that is the toy that she desired to play with.

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  22. First of all, I do not think that it is a bad thing to have "gender specific" toys. Girls tend to be more motherly and nurturing, and boys are more of the hunter and gatherer by nature. However if a little boy wants to play with a doll, let him! Children's brains are developing at a very fast rate, and different instincts and emotions too. Who is to say that a boy can't nurture and love too? I give my son the freedom to choose what he wants to play with. He does naturally pick trucks to play with, or want to go out and play baseball, however he does have an obnoxious collection of stuffed animals that he loves to cuddle with and fall asleep with. I don't see anything wrong with that. Today's society is not like the past generations where specific toys are given to a child based on their gender. I believe that is a good thing. Maybe these kids will grow up more diverse and understanding towards all different people than the previous generations.

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  23. I remember very well my childhood, I used to have lots of dolls because my parents use to get me more girl's toy than boys . Honestly , I think that it is very normal when girls play with cars and boys vice-verse because they only kids and what's kid do ? They play with anything . For example , several girls that I have met , they used to play soccer when their kids and today they are on the team and they are really good in what they do . This example doesn't make them different from the others girls , they just just like to play soccer .

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  24. I remember when I was younger, I had a lot of remote control cars, my sister too had a remote control car too, we would race, to see who was going to win. that didn't stop her from doing what she wanted. I also remember, when her friends came over, and I was playing with her dolls, this didn't make feel girly afterwards, it just made me get acquainted with a little bit of girly stuff. I see no reason why girls cant have some of the boys toys, so to say. because I feel like them playing with it, makes them understand

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  25. As I think back to my childhood I was always the little girl who played with Barbie and dolls. However, I was surrounded by all my guy cousins and played baseball and tossed around a ball with them. I feel like society-roles do play a role in the type of toys play with and how they play with them..but now in days it seems that kids are playing sports no matter what gender and they are still learning and know the difference in gender-roles and such views that society holds. I would definitely let my daughter play with a truck, I'd buy her dolls aswell and let her explore!

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  26. Just give your kids what they want. If you have disposable income, get your daughter the Barbie, and son the Tonka. I don't know how disposable your income is, but in honor of less fortunate children, don't buy your kids toys that they won't play with. Kids are conformity machines, because they have to be. As soon as they are socialized, boys playing with Barbies will start to get negative reactions and ridicule from their friends. I'd imagine that peers determine what is cool, and uncool to play with, and toy advertisers are good at making a toy cool. I always noticed you can tell how old (specifically what generation) someone is by their favorite childhood toys. I think everyone has the same toys because kids want to play with others and be accepted. Advertisers make toys cool and therefor socially acceptable, and popular. If play time was solo, you might see more girls playing with trucks, and boys with dolls.

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  27. I think this article is really interesting. Society has turned into a place that separates boys and girls at such a young age. Children start to learn that girls should act girly and boys should be manly. This plays a huge factor in the types of toys they choose to play with; boys will pick trucks while girls chose to play with dolls. When I was younger, my parents bought me all the Barbie’s and Cabbage Patch toys I could possibly want. However, whenever I’d go to my cousin’s house, he would have trucks, action figures and toy guns that I used to love to play with. In my opinion, I felt like the guns and trucks were much more fun than my dolls! Society should give children the freedom to choose their own toys because parents will be surprised what interests their kids. I played with toys that are meant for boys and I feel like I have both a girly side and an athletic (or boyish) side as well. Toys can help keep a balance between the two sides and help children see that they don’t have to conform to the roles society expects them to have. The next question that comes into play is whether or not I would give my daughter a truck or my son a doll, and to be honest, I would let my children decide that for themselves. As a parent, you can give your children the tools they need to succeed, but it will ultimately be their choice on what they want to play with. Toys don’t decide a child’s role in society; the child is the one that has to make this decision for themselves.

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  28. I think this society stressed too much on what certain toys a gender should play with. Boys can play with Barbie dolls, and Girls can play with G.I. Joe, who cares. Why label certain toys to a specific gender?I am a heterosexual female (in case someone wanted to know), looking back into my childhood, I would play with action figures, trucks, play baseball and often times play with Barbie and Ken (they did not entertain me as much as Spider man did). I believe that being cautious and limiting gender specific toys to children will only limit their imagination, and imagination is the key to raising a child into an adult with an open mind. The interesting thing about children is that they will make a rock or ANYTHING into a toy and entertain themselves for hours (lol). This is just a sign that a child is using their imagination.
    Like I stated before, it doesn't matter what girls or boys play with (unless it's an harmful object).

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  29. I do not believe the current society is able to give children freedom to pick their own toys. Most parents based off the toys off of their children’s gender. For example, if a little girl is in a toy store, her parents are most likely to pick out a doll or a stuffed animal for her. I think that kids now still need to conform to social roles through play because it is the parents thought process. For example, when the parents were younger, they probably had to play with gendered toys. So now, I think that the kids now will have to play with toys based off their gender because of their parents. As kids grow older, parents would not care about the toys they play with and the kids will play with a mixture of different toys. I grew up with two older sisters and two older brothers. Of course, my brothers would only play with cars and legos, while my sisters and I played with almost any of the toys we were given. Now as I grow older, I am more into different sports and games, rather doing girly things. For example, I rather watch basketball than get my nails done. I would give my daughter a truck because I want her to experience different toys to play with. I do not want my daughter to only play with gendered toys because she should also play with trucks, cars, and legos. She should get the freedom with playing with any toys she wants. I want her to experience the toys she wants to play with and not be forced to play with certain toys.

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  30. Jeannette SanchezMay 12, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    I think this society is more liberal than the olden times where people were more conservative. In this time of age, people are more, open to new ideas and trying them. Also with our growing technology we are able to create more toys and entertainment for everyone's wish list and/or desire. For me, kids should be given more freedom to choose what they want to play but you as a parent should be there to give them guidance. Girls should be able to play with trucks as well as little boys should be allowed to play with dolls. Give them a little bit of freedom, so they would be able to be more open to all social roles. Rearing a child that is expose to the real world in an early age, I think would likely make them more aware that there are more options for them out there. All they have to do is decide wisely, but with a parents' guidance, what can go wrong...nothing I hope...:):)

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  31. Wow! I really do love this article, because I have a girl baby cousin who is going through this. I do believe that current society is better able to give children freedom to pick their own toys simply because of how liberal we are getting. If we compare society of today of society back then, it would be different because society back then stressed on social roles for a man/woman and boy/girl. But today, it's not as conservative. I don't think kids of now a days have a need to conform because of social roles simply because of the changes and influences surrounding that. Society's norms are not the same anymore. I absolutely would give my daughter a truck, maybe even my son a doll. It all depends on them as an individual, if they like it or not.

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  32. I do believe our society we currently live in gives the children freedom to pick their own toys based on what they see around them. It gives them an idea of what they must want; making it an open door to try new things once they pick something. Children do not have the need to conform to play social roles through playing because it’s not normal to force it upon them. It can come natural because based again on what they witness around them they will conform themselves. I would give my daughter a truck if she picks it in the market. I wouldn’t say she couldn’t have it but I would not just surprise her with a toy truck for her to play with.

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  33. I think that our current society gives children more freedom to pick the toys that they want, and the children are not forced to conform to social roles through play. Though social roles are still a part of our society, they are not heavily weighted on children today. But even if social roles are now heavily weighted on children today, you can still see them. If you go to baby showers, there are still color schemes with blue or pink. Or when you see a child, you tend to say "Oh he's so strong/handsome" if he is a boy or "Oh she's so beautiful/sweet' for a girl because in our society, boys are supposed to be masculine and girls should be feminine. My nieces play with toy cars and my nephews play with stuffed animals, but they don't seem to care if those toys are supposed to be for boys or girls. Nowadays, it seems like you can find kids playing with all sorts of toys. It just depends if they like it or not, not because it's for boys or for girls. Back then, I would play with toy cars with my cousins, so yes, I would give my daughter a toy truck for her to play with if she wanted it.

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  34. In reading this article I couldn't help but laugh, because I am learning about this in another one of my classes. Many people seem to have an issue with how society influences us into making our children fall under the what society dubs as normal. I am happy to say that times are changing; we tend to see parents straying away from what is normal and are finding them allowing their children to be themselves and not suppressing anything that may be different. Icons such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are one of the few new age parents who are allowing their daughter Shiloh. I believe this social gender issue goes beyond what types of toys you allow your children to play with, it is about allowing them to express themselves without out being judged. I personally would do the same thing as the author of this article and give my child options, and what ever he/she decides we'll move forward from their.

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  35. There are definitely a lot of gender specific toys and back in the day is when I would say these gender specific toys were more set in stone. Girls had dolls and Boys had cars, that is just how it was. Even if it were not what the kid wanted that is still what was given to them. I for one was a mixture of both, I hated all barbie dolls but I loved my polly pockets and I hated dinosaurs but I loved playing with hot wheels. In the current generation I think there will be a lot of change because a lot of societies views are beginning to change and are starting to be more equal to everyone and how they prefer to things in their lives.I feel as though right now there may still be a bit of pressure to confine to the gender roles but by the time that I have kids I believe that gender roles will be a thing of the past. As for my own kids I would buy them anything that they wanted as long as they were happy.

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  36. I think there is definitely alot more acceptance with having kids pick their own toys. Especially in our generation there is more acceptance of having a girl play with cars and trucks rather than a barbie or a stuffed animal. Although we have become more accepting with having kids ‘play’ different roles there is still that oh no what if they turn gay kind of aspect of having a boy play with barbies. I have always thought of having a family being really important in my future, because you get to raise someone the way you would’ve liked to be raised or the way you think someone should be raised. I would definitely give my daughter a truck just like I would let my son take ballerina classes if he wanted too. I personally think it’s amazing when girls know how to fix cars and know what’s actually going on with a car instead of just knowing the that the color of the leather seats is beige. As long as I know my kids aren’t hurting people, being rude, murderers, or in a mafia they can do whatever their little heart desires (within reason).

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  37. Growing up, my parents never stopped me from going into the Boy aisles in stores, whether it was for toys or clothes. This being said, I really have never seen many places (or people for that matter) be accepting of children having the freedom to pick their own toys. Kids, past, present, and future, should not have to deal with the roles society gives them. Children should most definitely be allowed to pick the clothing they wear and the toys they want to play with. Growing up, the only barbies I had were the collectibles and the ones my aunts would give me for holidays or birthdays. That is the same way I would want my daughter. I would not stop her from choosing a toy truck over a Barbie doll, and I would not stop my son from choosing a Barbie doll over the toy truck.

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