Today, we’ll consider two experiments on the topic of gender and toys. One experiment focuses on the child’s behaviour, and the other focuses on the adult’s behaviour. And to add to the fun, one video is in English and one is in French!
Let’s start with the children’s behaviours. This video is in fact a commercial for a French supermarket chain. Don’t worry if the last time you spoke French was in second grade, the video is just 2 minutes long and you’ll get the point of the experiment just with the graphics. In the first part of the video, children explain how they categorize toys. Example with the last child: “A castle, if it’s pink, well it’s for girls.” In the second part, children are set free in a child’s wonderland (toys everywheeeeere!). See what happens:
Amazing, isn’t it?
In this previous experiment, children were on their own. What if you put an adult in the room? And what happens when you try and trick the adult? BBC set up an experiment in order to reveal to some adults their own biases:
The behaviour of the adults speaks for itself. We are all biased. That is, without even knowing it, our behaviour is different whether we’re addressing a male toddler than a female toddler.
What now? My takeaway is that, like the adults here, I am biased, whether I like it or not. I will do my best to expose my child to all kinds of toys (I want to say “boys’ toys” and “girls’ toys” but that doesn’t sound right anymore). He will decide for himself what he wants to play with.
See you next week!