The Influence of Toys on Careers

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Over generations, children are steered toward a path that would be socially acceptable for them to follow. Many children are guided a career path unknowingly by toys. Toys make a crucial impact on the lives of the youth. Through observation, most kids learn how they should act and what they should be. Parents would purchase certain toys for their children to encourage what they would hope their children would be when they grow up. Due to children being led to a life molded by society, there is a major division between genders in the offices of certain industries. In today’s society, we could see the results of toys influencing children’s career paths by targeting male dominant industries such as engineering and computer science.

There should not be a need for boys and girls to have a set of separate toys for each of their gender. In The New York Times article, “Shopping for a Girl? Consider Science and Engineering Toys”, Claire Cain Miller advocates parents to buy toys that would promote interests in computer science and engineering for girls as well as boys. Claire Cain Miller studied at Yale University. Before being a writer for The New York Times, she worked for Forbes magazine as a senior reporter for two years. A director of the association research department, Catherine Hill, emphasizes the significance of having gender neutral toys, “‘Dolls and other toys for young children are especially important because they are still developing their own gender identity and are especially susceptible to gender stereotyping’”, she indicates that children are easily influenced by their surroundings and possessions (Miller). By Miller quoting a direction of a research department establishes her credibility for stating facts from a reliable source.

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More toys that target girls should concentrate on dolls that have successful careers rather than dolls being a model or a princess. Miller lists two separate types of dolls parents are buying for their daughters, “Sofia the First, a new Disney princess decked out in a lavender gown, is high on most retailers’ list of the hottest toys this holiday season […] Robot Girl Lottie is inspired by women robotics experts and her story line and accessories are based on a science fair”, Miller suggests that consumers still choose to buy the princess over the doll dressed as a scientist (Miller). Miller strengthens her argument by using the statistics of the most popular toys that were bought for the holiday season. Miller’s audience is mostly parents that are consumers at toy stores buying gifts for their children. Her purpose is to promote gender neutral toys and toys that favor computer science and engineering for girls. Miller illustrates that well known and familiar toy brands are also endorsing better realistic toys for girls, “Mainstream brands like Mattel and Lego are catching on. Lego sells a woman scientist character and a pink and purple Lego set (though it doesn’t exactly break gender stereotypes — it includes a dining table, dishes and a croissant)”, this indicates that more big toy brands should follow the footsteps of Lego and Mattel to have more options for young girls.

In conclusion, Claire Cain Miller’s article made a compelling argument to support toys advocating strong career driven dolls for girls. Miller provided sufficient evidence to back up her points. She established her credibility as a writer by having previous experience for Forbes for two years and working for The New York Times for eight years. Miller made it obvious that her target audience were parents buying presents for their children around the holiday season. She hopes to make parents aware how toys could affect a child’s dream job when they grow up and to make big toy corporations to make better toy options for both boys and girls that are more gender neutral.

work cited:

Miller, Claire Cain. “Shopping for a Girl? Consider Science and Engineering Toys.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 29 Nov. 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2016.