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Gender Stereotypes of Children’s Toys by Boekee & Brown

The suitability of the text
The research on Gender Stereotypes of Children’s Toys adapted by Boekee and Brown provides factual, clear information and credible evidence based on various researches. The current study is published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Occupational Therapy and is aimed to help occupational therapists, students, and assistants to provide best practices to the patients. The language of the study is concise, clear, and illustrative; the study is well structured.

The researches on the society’s impact on the gender stereotypes formation date 2010, while the one on the gender stereotypes in choosing toys by children dates 2009. Other source references, like the ones of Bem on the gender schema theory and Caldera on the play patterns, date 1981 and 1989, respectively. The major part of the source references dates to the mid-2010s. Nonetheless, the research on the Gender Stereotypes of Children’s Toys is relevant since the evidence provided is credible; the major part of it has not changed significantly.

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The summary of the text: the central argument, supporting claims, and evidence

The central argument of the essay is whether the gender stereotypes held by parents and adults without children affect their selection of toys and, if so, what impact it makes on gender roles reinforcement. In addition, the research explores how the perception of gender-neutral toys differs between adults with children and those who have not been parents and how it is reflected during occupational therapy.

The first essential claim of the research is that society continuously imposes what is appropriate for both genders, and parents are just communicating those values to their children (Boekee & Brown, 2015). The authors provide an example of an investigation conducted by Raag (1999). The results showed that children left in a room with two sets of toys – for boys and girls – chose the gender-appropriate one, thinking that parents would not approve the opposite sex-associated toys (Raag, 1999).

The second critical claim of the paper is that the conservative families contribute essentially to the development of the strong stereotypical gender views (Fagot, Leinbach, & O’Boyle, 1992; Weinraub et al., 1984). Consequently, children are inclined to choose what is considered to be feminine and masculine behaviour patterns and activities. Women are supposed to be patient and gentle and be occupied with house working, while men are supposed to look more masculine and maintain a family.

The persuasion to accept any of the points within the article

The topic of the paper is investigated profoundly, and the claims made are provided with credible evidence. The authors proved that parents might broaden their experience and, thus, score gender-neutral toys more than adults with no children (Boekee & Brown, 2015). The results show that having children influences significantly what is considered appropriate for both genders since parents tend to reevaluate what is appropriate for different types of behaviour.

Still, society plays a crucial part in defining gender roles and activities. While some believe that society has developed to the point of gender balance, the research shows that the situation is the opposite at the moment. The authors, in a clear and persuasive manner, prove that children tend to choose what fits the social expectations under the pressure of social norms and rules. They also prove that children from conservative families are inclined to choose what is appropriate for their gender solely.


Boekee, K. & Brown, T. (2015). Gender stereotypes of children’s toys: Investigating the perspectives of adults who have and do not have children. Journal of Occupational Therapy8(9), pp: 7-10. doi: 10.1080/19411243.2015.1024560

Fagot, B., Leinbach, M., & O’Boyle, C. (1992). Gender labeling, gender stereotyping, and parenting behaviors. Developmental Psychology28(2), pp: 225–230. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.28.2.225.

Raag, T. (1999). Influences of social expectations of gender, gender stereotypes, and situational constraints on children’s toy choices. Sex Roles41(11/12), pp: 809–831. doi:10.1007/s11199-010-9902-3.

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