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Breaking clichés about toys: Lego no longer makes a difference between boys and girls


Lego wants to make its toys free from gender stereotypes. Products should no longer be specially sorted according to boys or girls. The parents are more likely to be the problem than the children.

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Nine year old with Legos

Photo: Matthew Lloyd / Getty Images

In line with International Girls' Day, Lego has announced a strategy to break up gender stereotypes.

"We're working hard to make Lego more inclusive," said Product Manager Julia Goldin.

Lego therefore no longer labels any of its products as "for girls" or "for boys".

On the toy manufacturer's website, consumers cannot search for products by gender.

Instead, they are classified according to age, interests or subject areas, among other things.

"We test everything on boys and girls and include more female role models," Goldin describes the strategy.

Lego refers to a study commissioned by the company, according to which attitudes towards gaming and future professions are still characterized by gender stereotypes.

Boys don't dare to play girls' toys

It's not just about girls being pushed into certain clichés.

Boys also suffer from stereotypes.

The researchers found that while girls become more confident, the same cannot be said of boys.

71 percent of the boys surveyed feared that they would be made fun of if they played with »girls' toys«.

A fear that, according to the study, was also shared by her parents.

"Parents are more concerned about their sons being teased than their daughters when they play with toys associated with the opposite sex," said Madeline Di Nonno, executive director of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which conducted the study Has.

Nearly 7,000 parents and children aged six to 14 from China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States were surveyed.

Behaviors associated with men are still valued higher in society, said Di Nonno.

According to the study, parents were more likely to encourage their sons to exercise, while daughters were encouraged to dance, dress up or bake.

Lego manager Goldin said the company wants to encourage boys and girls to play with sets that are traditionally considered "not for them."

With its commitment, Lego should not only have socio-political purposes in mind.

The company has girls as a target group in mind - and sees a lot of catching up to do here among parents.

In the survey, 76 percent of parents said that they would encourage a son to play with Lego.

Only 24 percent of the parents surveyed would recommend this to a daughter as well.

Lego made headlines in spring with a set of toy figures in rainbow colors.

The figures were not assigned a specific gender, as is usually the case with Lego.

The set is dedicated to the »LGBTQIA + community«.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-10-11

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