Toy Sellers Step Gingerly Into Debate Over Gender-Specific Labeling

12/4/2015 - Lecturer in Sociology Elizabeth V. Sweet in The Washington Post.

Toy manufacturers and retailers face greater social pressure to ditch gender-specific labeling and marketing, yet they do not want to cut into profits. They want to make it easy for busy shoppers to find what they are looking for, but they do not want to alienate customers who are uncomfortable with the old labels.

Elizabeth Sweet, who studies gender-based toy marketing at the University of California at Davis, said toys today are more gender-specific than at any time in a century. But parents are becoming more vocal about the issue, she said, and that is putting pressure on companies to respond.

“We’re beginning to see the shift in large part due to the parents and other activists saying, ‘Hey, we need something different out there,’ ” Sweet said.

Read the full story in The Washington Post.