Gender Roles from toys to modern day

Character Guide


Janet Gonzalez-Mena: A Spanish author and teacher whose career began in California, working in the California University and Community College system for 35 years. At the beginning of her career she was a preschool volunteer teacher where she later on started the program Head Start, a program to help Spanish-speaking children and their families.

Gonzalez-Mena was also the co-author of he book Bridging Cultures in ECE (2002)


Abby Kaplan is a contributor to the newspaper at the school of Westtown. This is the first article she been assigned with and is currently working on another very opinionated paper in which she backs up with her facts from research. Kaplan has many opinions towards the gender roles of women and how they are changing the modern woman.


Debra Merskin: An University of Oregon professor who is also a researcher on how the media see’s women and minorities. The article she and Carrie Packwood Freeman wrote was first seen in “Food for Thought: Essays on Eating and Culture” (2008).


David B. Ryan has been a profession writer for many years. His work includes various books, articles for “The Plain Dealer” in Cleveland and essays for Oxford University Press. Ryan holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Indiana University and certifications in emergency management and health disaster response.





Abby Kaplan (Alexis): Do you know what bothers me? The stereotype that women are weaker and more emotional than men- and because many believe this to be true, women are expected to do jobs that are less difficult.


Debra Merskin (Chase): Men are stronger and tougher than women, we find danger exciting and have propensity toward violence.


David B. Ryan (Kate): I was reading in the paper the other day how many people believe it to be true that toys influence gender roles.  That feminine-typed toys display nurturing traits, and masculine toys show high levels of activity and mobility.


Janet Gonzalez-Mena (Thomas): I don’t believe that to be true at all, “why does it matter if boys never play house or girls never play blocks? It doesn’t, if in other areas of their lives they are getting the skills they miss out on by avoiding these two activities.”


AK (Alexis): I disagree I believe it is important according to the stat that in 2007, the average women earned 78 cents to every dollar earned by a man in the same position. That can add up to anywhere from $700,000 to $2 million dollars less over the course of a women’s career.


JGM (Thomas): I do agree that boys and girls interacting in play at a young age encourages dramatic play that gives boys a chance to be nurtures, to experience domestic relations, to feel comfortable trying on a variety of emotions.


DBR (Kate): I have also read that children using feminine-typed toys display nurturing traits and used toys in role play. Kids using masculine-typed toys show high levels of activity and mobility.


DM (Chase): Boys playing with blocks can create a macho personality constellation in males.


AK (Alexis): Women playing so called house can lead to an image of hysterical, unreasonable woman, the opposite of what anybody would want in a leader.


JGM (Thomas): Sometimes the adults in the program subtly encourage this kind of gender differentiation.


AK (Alexis): Studies show that women are also expected to work in different areas than men. Most women are concentrated in social work, childcare, and health aide type jobs.


CF (Chase): Men are also seen to society sometimes and dominate heterosexual characters as in fast-food commercials males are seen with a desire to consume animal meat and symbolically consume “flesh” of sexualized and objectified women.


AK (Alexis): These jobs generally pay less than so called “masculine” jobs such as work in math and sciences. Some might argue that this is a matter of choice, but part of it is also society’s influence. Even as young children, girls are steered away from “male” subjects. In many families, male education is also valued more than female education.


JGM (Thomas): In many Schools you can check out the block area this is where you find the boys. The way the environment is set up. The girls are in the “housekeeping” corner playing with clothes, shoes, and purses that most boys won’t be attracted to. Making the environment where the boys are in the “dominate” block building area simulating as if they are doing labor work and the girls in the less dominate “housekeeping” area doing activities such as cleaning and playing in the kitchen.


DBR (Kate): The message for girls centered appearance, including toy jewelry, costumes and play makeup. “Female signals focused on domestic skills” toys marketed for boys, including guns and soldiers, focused on fighting and aggression. Other male messages included competition, excitement, and an element of danger.


CPF (Chase): Looking at Americas past culture especially in media such as movies and shows, Cowboys tamed the “wild west” and all its inhabits reducing millions of acres of vast cattle grazing area, forever associating red meat with this supposedly brave and tough category of American men therefore supporting men are seen in society as the dominate gender.


AK (Alexis): A recent study showed that when looking at two identical resumes, one female name and one with a male name, both male and female employers gave the female one a lower score. The message is clear that men are still considered superior to women.


DM (Chase): This can lead back to that the “macho personality constellation” is comprised of three behavioral depositions: entitlement to callous sex, propensity toward violence, and danger as exciting. Are all features that lead society to see males and the dominate gender.


AK (Alexis): The most extreme actions of male dominance can be seen in countries other than the United States. In some countries if there is only enough money to send one child to school the child will most likely be male. This goes as far as some women will have an abortion if they find out that their baby is female.



Works Cited

Freeman Packwood, Carrie and Debra Merskin. “ Having It His Way: The Construction of Masculinity in Fast-Food TV Advertising.” “They Say/I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russell  Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 454-480. Print.


Gonzalez-Mena, Janet. “Gender Roles and Toys.” Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall, 8 Dec. 2010. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.


Kaplan, Abby. “Traditional Gender Roles’ Devastating Effect on the Modern Woman.” The Brown and White. 15 Feb 2012. Web. 25 Mar 2014


Ryan, David B. “What Messages About Gender Roles Can Be Associated With Toys”., 16 Feb. 2014






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