The Gustavian Weekly

Are young minds being manipulated? | The Gustavian Weekly

By Emily Pratt - Opinion Columnist | September 29, 2017 | Opinion

Playmobil, a popular toy for children.

Playmobil, a popular toy for children.

Looking back on the glory days of childhood, there appeared to be an impressive amount of toys to tempt and occupy one’s time.

My days were spent in the midst of either a Barbie explosion or a surprisingly detailed Playmobil town.

Nearly twelve years after receiving my first American Girl Doll, my expanded and admittedly obnoxious collection is still on proud display.

Just about everyone has memories about a favorite toy or game integral to their childhood, but few really think about the role they play in developing a child’s interests and personality.

Handing a young boy a Hot Wheels car doesn’t guarantee he will become a Nascar fan, but even the most mundane toys teach children expectations for how they should view the world in ways vocal instruction aren’t able to communicate.

This clever manipulation of young minds would seem to allow the opportunity for discovering a variety of new interests but unfortunately gendered marketing techniques closes just as many doors as it opens.

The social construct of gender is far from a new concept, its roots can be found in nearly every civilization throughout history.

Because women have generally held responsibility for child care, a large number of people today still assume they have a natural maternal connection that provides them with better parenting abilities.

While this belief allows for an easier argument against changing societal traditions, it is far from correct.

The moment one is placed in a little girl’s hand, a clear path is set for where society expects her to end up.

Grooming girls for motherhood begins at a very young age, the wide variety of baby dolls available in stores serving as a springboard for the journey into raising a family.

The moment one is placed into a little girl’s hand, a clear path is set for where society expects her to end up. Some companies have expanded

A person’s college and major choice rests heavily on their experiences growing up, and the toys that surrounded their childhood are no exception.