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Should We Encourage Boys To Play With Dolls?16:20
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Rebeca Ramirez pushes a toy along aisles filled with Barbie dolls at the Mattel Outlet Store, Monday, Jan. 31, 2005, in El Segundo, Calif. Worldwide sales of Mattel's flagship Barbie doll brand were down 1 percent during the fourth quarter, while sales of the company's Other Girls brand rose 1 percent during the same period. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Rebeca Ramirez pushes a toy along aisles filled with Barbie dolls at the Mattel Outlet Store, Monday, Jan. 31, 2005, in El Segundo, Calif. Worldwide sales of Mattel's flagship Barbie doll brand were down 1 percent during the fourth quarter, while sales of the company's Other Girls brand rose 1 percent during the same period. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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If you're holiday shopping for a child this season, the gendered world of toys is quickly obvious, with walls of blue or pink. But, marketing dolls to girls and action figures to boys has provoked a debate about whether all toys should be for all children.

Guest

Rebecca Hains, professor of advertising and media studies at Salem State University. Author of "The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls Through The Princess-Obsessed Years." She tweets @RCHains.

Mary Ellin Logue, associate professor of early childhood education at the University of Maine at Orono.

More

 The Boston Globe: Why Boys Should Play With Dolls

  • "My son spends equal time playing with boys and girls and delights in playing house and video games alike. 'Toys are for everybody,' he insists with admirable stubbornness. But not everyone sees it that way."

The Atlantic: You Can Give A Boy A Doll, But You Can't Make Him Play With It

  • "The problem with Egalia and gender-neutral toy catalogs is that boys and girls, on average, do not have identical interests, propensities, or needs. Twenty years ago, Hasbro, a major American toy manufacturing company, tested a playhouse it hoped to market to both boys and girls. It soon emerged that girls and boys did not interact with the structure in the same way. The girls dressed the dolls, kissed them, and played house. The boys catapulted the toy baby carriage from the roof. A Hasbro manager came up with a novel explanation: 'Boys and girls are different.'"

New York Times: Guys And Dolls No More?

  • "Gender has always played a role in the world of toys. What’s surprising is that over the last generation, the gender segregation and stereotyping of toys have grown to unprecedented levels. We’ve made great strides toward gender equity over the past 50 years, but the world of toys looks a lot more like 1952 than 2012."

This segment aired on December 9, 2015.

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