Lego pledges to make toys more gender-neutral, continue to work toward elimination of stereotypes

The decision from the massive toymaker came earlier this month in response to the results of a survey it had commissioned

Updated: October 19, 2021 - 1:19pm

Lego has announced it will work to remove gender stereotypes from its toys following results from a global survey commissioned by the company that suggested girls were becoming more confident, but boys were not.

Seventy-one percent of the boys surveyed feared they would be mocked by their peers if they played with "girls' toys," a sentiment shared by many of the boys' parents, the company said in announcing the change last month.

"Until societies recognize that behaviors and activities typically associated with women are as valuable or important, parents and children will be tentative to embrace them," said Madeline Di Nonno, the CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the organization that conducted the survey.

The survey concluded that girls are still disproportionately encouraged to engage in activities like dance, dress up, and baking, while boys are more heavily encouraged to play sports or do Stem-related activities.

Lego identified this trend as a problem because the company believes its toys offer "training opportunities" to young children. "If girls aren’t playing with Lego or other construction toys, they aren’t developing the spatial skills that will help them in later life. If dolls are being pushed on girls but not boys, then boys are missing out on nurturing skills," said Professor of neurobiology Gina Rippon.

"Girls today feel increasingly confident to engage in all types of play and creative activities, but remain held back by society’s ingrained gender stereotypes as they grow older," said the company in a statement. 

"Our job now is to encourage boys and girls who want to play with sets that may have traditionally been seen as ‘'not for them,'" said Julia Goldin, the company's chief product and marketing officer. 

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