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Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 41 by Mark Frauenfelder

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SOAPBOX

What Is a “Girl Toy”?

Written by Anne Mayoral

The toys we buy (and make) are sending a message. Make sure it’s the right one.

TAKE A 15-MINUTE TRIP TO A BIG-BOX STORE AND YOU’LL SEE THE GIRLS’ AISLE DOMINATED BY PINK TOYS — dolls, play sets, games, and dress-up clothing, all in various shades of pink. Aside from the color, the toys share another similarity: They all encourage specific patterns of play that focus on role-play, nurturing, and domestic crafting. Conversely, the boys’ aisle is full of action figures, erector sets, blasters, and cars — toys that highlight action, building, and violence.

Gender-based toy marketing is nothing new, but the impact on our children shapes their futures. According to the National Institute for ...

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