TOY COLOR & GENDER DEVELOPMENT

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

Aired on May 29, July 10 & December 23, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> 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.

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