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Lego Removes Gender Bias From Toys

That may sound rather woke, but it's the result of an enlightening survey.

Lego commissioned the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to survey 7,000 parents and children aged 6 to 14. As a result, the Danish toymaker (founded in 1932) will remove gender stereotypes from its products and to add suitable new ones to its range, such as female role models.

Researchers found that while girls were becoming more confident and keen to engage in a wide range of activities, the same was not true of boys.

The study showed that girls feel increasingly confident getting involved in all types of play but, perhaps surprisingly, it found they were often still hampered in life by gender bias from their own parents. Some 89 percent of polled mums and dads thought of engineers as being men rather than women, for example.

The survey revealed how boys face prejudice when they play with toys traditionally associated with the opposite sex. As many as 71 percent of boys compared to 42 percent of girls feared ridicule if they played with "the wrong toy."

“The benefits of creative play such as building confidence, creativity and communication skills are felt by all children and yet we still experience age-old stereotypes that label activities as only being suitable for one specific gender,” says Lego’s chief marketing officer, Julia Goldin.

In response to the survey, Lego launched its Ready for Girls campaign, which “celebrates girls who rebuild the world through creative problem solving”. The firm also announced that toys listed on its website will be categorised by theme and age – but not by gender.

The Let Toys Be Toys campaign was launched in the UK to put pressure on children’s brands to reconsider their marketing messages and include both genders, so that no boy or girl thinks they are playing with “the wrong toy”.

“These insights emphasise just how ingrained gender biases are across the globe,” said Geena Davis, the Oscar-winning actor and activist who set up the institute in 2004 to combat negative gender stereotyping and foster inclusion.


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