Sexually Correct Toys: Good or Bad Idea?

A petition against the four for “little girls” from Hasbro, up in arms against the “sexist” Vertbaudet catalogue… For toys, gender stereotypes are not good press. Result: mixed toys, speaking, both girls and boys, made their appearance. Good or bad initiative for our end ‘ cabbages? Anne Bacus, clinical psychologist, decrypt us the phenomenon.

“Free the children of clichés” seems to blow the Santa, from the top of his sleigh. And he’s right: the 2012 vintage toys have decided to make their revolution. This year, mixed games and without gender stereotypes await the children under the tree. Exit the dinettes intended exclusively for girls and boys building games… Gender mix and advertisements of brands is echo! These seem to have taken into account the protests of parents: Hasbro, Lottie, Super U – only they – have set (or is about to do) sexism out of their catalogues. Games genres are about to disappear? What would be the impact on the construction of gender identity in children? Anne Bacus, psychologist and author of the guide of the toy from birth to six years(Ed. Marabout), tells us all about this new phenomenon.

Magicmaman: Why are brands of toys more likely to propose ‘unisex’ toys to children?
Anne Bacus: “We must already understand that toys genres are the children, ages because children play with neutral games… In contrast to adults, 40/50 years marked the rise of games for boy and girl under the effect of marketing. Manufacturers realized that they were doubling the sales volume when they partitionnaient toys for children. “Today, we are seeing more or less the same thing: brands are aware of the dissatisfaction of the parents in the face of stereotypes and orient their communication marketing on this plan here.”

Magicmaman: Are criticisms of these toys for girl and boy they justified?
Anne Bacus: “Yes, these partitioned games are in caricature and can induce complexes in children. Those who play with the toys expected to be intended for the opposite sex will be shown of the finger. The child will not dare and won’t feel normal. And then these toys establish sexism, especially when they are only little boys that are displayed on the boxes of games for little scientists and girls who play games rather ‘corny’. Rewarding toys are all too often stamped as well as men. After, it is surprising that there are no girls in the mathematical sections…”

Magicmaman: Always are unisex or asexual games a good thing for the development of children?
Anne Bacus: “Yes, in the sense where they offer the choice and freedom to the children, they don’t are more stigmatized. It’s great that boys can access the universe traditionally intended for girls and vice versa. In any case This is absolutely not a problem, for example, that little boys play with doll. They are not afraid and are released to play with what they want, they finally dare! There is no problem with that. »

Magicmaman: How to explain persistent attraction to children for toys genres?
Anne Bacus:”It’s true that when you look at playground, most of the girls play with toys for girls and boys with toys for boys. We can see that children do not spontaneously play with so-called “neutral” games There is an age in which there need to be comforted in his sex and one of the ways to strengthen, is to go into caricature. Should not even go to the extreme : a girl can go to games buildings but is absolutely not serious if she continues to dream that she will become a Princess. In all cases, this phenomenon of caricature decreases gradually over the years to finally disappear. »

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Magicmaman: Do you think the Unisex trend of games will increase in the years to come?
Anne Bacus: “I think it’s more than a trend, it will spread. And it’s a very good thing because children now have a choice and don’t feel not stigmatized. It’s much better. Of course, this will not prevent young girls to choose dolls and little boys cars and balloons, but at least, they will have the choice and will be more free”