TOY COLOR & GENDER DEVELOPMENT

July 11, 2019 at 5:00 am

A new study on the impact of toy colors on your child’s development reveals some interesting facts.

Aired on May 29, 2019 and July 10, 2019.

Transcript Print

>>> TOYS.
THEY HAVE A BIGGER IMPACT ON
YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE THAN YOU MAY
KNOW.
THEY MAY NOT ONLY BE A SOURCE OF
FUN.
THEY MAY ALSO BE AN INTEGRAL
PART OF OUR GENDER DEVELOPMENT.
JOINING US IS A PSYCHOLOGIST AND
GENDER STUDY PROCESS IF HE IS
S
PROFESSOR AT MONMOUTH
UNIVERSITY.
LET'S START OFF WITH THAT BIGGER
PICTURE.
WHY WOULD THEY HAVE AN IMPACT ON
GENDER DEVELOPMENT.
>> SO GENDER DEVELOPMENT IS
SOMETHING THAT IS DEVELOPING
WITH CHILDREN FROM A REALLY
YOUNG AGE.
AND SO AS KIDS ARE PLAYING WITH
TOYS, THEY'RE LEARNING LESSONS
ABOUT WHAT SOCIETY THINKS IS FOR
THEM AND NOT FOR THEM BASED ON
THEIR GENDER.
WE ALSO KNOW THAT KIDS ARE
PLAYING WITH TOYS AND AS THEY'RE
ENGAGING WITH THESE TOYS,
THEY'RE LEARNING OTHER LESSONS
SUCH AS ACADEMIC SKILLS.
SO RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT TOYS
SUCH AS PUZZLES AND BROLOCKS AN
NUMBER GAMES ARE REALLY TEACHING
KIDS THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF
MATHEMATICS AND THOSE ARE THE
BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LATER
LEARNINGS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY
ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS.
BUT T SEA SETS ARE THINGS THAT
KIDS ARE USING TO LEARN HOW TO
SHARE AND HAVE CONVERSATIONS.
THEY'RE ALSO LEARNING COGNITIVE
SERIES OF EVENTS.
THEY'RE ALL REALLY IMPORTANT.
>> LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT
BECAUSE SO MUCH OF YOUR RESEARCH
HAS BEEN -- IN TERMS OF THE TOYS
AND TWO THINGS I WANT TO ASK YOU
TO TALK ABOUT.
THE FIRST IS TOYS THAT ARE
DESIGNATED BOYS TOYS AS OPPOSED
TO GILRLS TOYS AND THEN THE
NOTION OF THE COLOR OF THOSE
TOYS.
START OFF WITH GIRL'S TOYS
VERSUS BOY'S TOYS.
>> SOCIETY THINKS OF TOYS AS
BEING EITHER FOR GIRLS OR BOYS.
THE TOY COMPANIES HAVE STARTED
DESIGNATING THOSE BY ADDING
COLORS TO THEM.
SO KNOW THAT DOLLS ARE
OFTENTIMES PINK AND TRUCKS AND
SWORDS AND THINGS LIKE THAT ARE
OFTENTIMES BLUE.
IT'S DESIGNED TO BE ABLE TO HELP
PEOPLE KNOW WHICH TYPES OF TOYS
THEY SHOULD BUY FOR KIDS AND
WHICH ONES THEY SHOULDN'T.
>> TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SOME
OF YOUR STUDIES AND SOME OF THE
RESEARCH THAT YOU'VE DONE AND
SOME OF THE INTERESTING THINGS
YOU'VE FOUND IN TERMS OF IF YOU
CHANGE COLORS FOR INSTANCE, IF
YOU USE NEUTRAL COLORS, THE
REACTION THE CHILDREN HAVE TO
THE VARIOUS TOYS.
>> SO THE IDEA THAT THERE ARE
COLORS AND CATEGORIES OF TOYS IS
WHAT'S REALLY CONCERNING TO ME
AND OTHER RESEARCHERS AS WELL.
MY COLLEAGUES AND I REALLY
WANTED TO SEE WHETHER THE COLOR
OF THE TOY IMPACTS CHILDREN'S
INTEREST IN THE TOYS.
WE GOT TOGETHER AND WE DID A
STUDY WHERE WE BOUGHT TWO OF
EVERY TOY AND WE PAINTED SOME OF
THEM PINK AND WE PAINTED SOME OF
THEM BLUE BUT THEY'RE THE SAME
EXACT TOYS.
WHEN WE GAVE KIDS THESE TOYS WE
REALIZED IT WASN'T REALLY THE
TOY CHAFS DRIVING THEIR
INTEREST.
IT WAS ACTUALLY THE COLOR.
GIRLS WERE MORE INTERESTED IN
T
BOY'S TOYS WHEN THEY WERE
APPELLANTED PINK.
WE KNOW THEIR INTEREST WAS BEING
IMPACTED BY THESE SUBTLE LABELS,
THESE LITTLE CUES ABOUT THE TOY.
IT WAS REALLY ABOUT SHOULD I
PLAY WITH THIS TOY OR SHOULD I
NOT.
>> SO THE GIRL WOULD HAVE AS
MUCH FUN PLAYING WITH THE TRUCK,
THE BIG MONSTER TRUCKS IF IT WAS
PAINTED PINK.
>> THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE FOUND.
>> WERE YOU SURPRISED AT FINDING
THOSE THINGS?
>> I THINK WE KIND OF HAD A
HUNCH THAT THAT'S WHAT WAS GOING
TO HAPPEN.
WE SAW THE SAME WAS TRUE FOR
BOYS.
IT DIDN'T HAPPEN TO THE LEVEL
THAT IT HAPPENED FOR GIRLS.
BUT WE WERE SURPRISED BY HOW
MUCH IT IMPACTED KIDS' INTEREST.
THAT'S ACTUALLY CONCERNING TO US
BECAUSE WE'RE USING COLORS IN A
WAY THAT'S CHANGING KIDS
BEHAVIORS.
REMEMBER I SAID BEFORE THAT
EVERY TOY TEACHES A SKILL AND SO
IF KIDS ARE ONLY PLAYING WITH
HALF OF THE TOYS BASED ON THEIR
COLOR, THEY'RE NOT LEARNING THE
SKILLS THAT THE OTHER TOYS THAT
ARE APPELLANTED THE COLOR THAT
ISN'T FOR THEIR GENDER.
AND WE WANT KIDS TO LEARN ALL OF
THE LESSONS.
EVERY PARENT WANTS THEIR CHILD
TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A BROAD
VARIETY OF SKILLS, TO BE ABLE TO
HAVE ACADEMIC SKILLS THAT ARE
DIVERSE AND WE WANT THEM TO HAVE
FUN.
IF THEY'RE ONLY PLAYING WITH
HALF THE TOYS, THEN THEY'RE ONLY
HAVING HALF THE FUN.
>> WHAT DID YOU FIND WHEN YOU
HAD THE TOYS PAINTED A NEUTRAL
COLOR.
NO PINKS, NO BLUES.
>> WE TALK ALL OR OUR TOYS AND
PAINTED THEM WHITE WITH THE GOAL
OF REMOVING THAT LABELING OR
THAT RULE THAT THE TOYS SHOULD
BE OR SHOULDN'T BE FOR THEM.
WHEN WE LAID THEM ALL OUT AND WE
SAID YOU CAN PLAY WITH ANYTHING
THAT YOU WANT, EACH CHILD GOT A
CHANCE TO BE ABLE TO PLAY WITH
ANY TOY THAT THEY WANTED
INDIVIDUALLY WITHOUT ANYONE
REALLY WATCHING THEM.
WE SAW THAT KIDS CHOSE THE
NEUTRAL TOYS.
THEY CHOSE A DIFFERENT SET OF
TOYS THAN THEY HAD TOLD US
PREVIOUSLY.
BECAUSE WE HAD SAID TO THEM
BEFORE WE STARTED WHAT TYPES OF
TOYS DO YOU WANT TO PLAY WITH.
AND THE GIRLS SAID WE WANT TO
PLAY WITH GIRLS TOYS AND THE
BOYS SAID WE WANT TO PLAY WITH
THE BOYS TOYS.
BUT WHEN WE REDUCED THAT ROLE
FOR THEM, THEY ACTUALLY EXPLORED
IN A MUCH BROADER WAY.
>> THEY WEREN'T LIMITED BY THE
LIMITATIONS WE HAD IMPOSED UPON
THEM IN SOME WAY.
IT'S FASCINATING RESEARCH AND
REALLY IMPORTANT RESEARCH AND I
THINK HELPFUL RESEARCH FOR ALL
OF US.
>> SOTHANKS FOR HAVING ME.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019