A new survey conducted by The Fawcett Society has found 60 percent of parents are worried about advertising that “reinforces gender stereotypes about what girls and boys can do.”
Among their concerns were worries that ads reinforce old-fashioned ideas, such as “pink is for girls, blue is for boys.”
The survey also found that 59 percent of respondents thought it was more okay for a girl to a “tomboy” than for a boy to be “feminine.” 69 percent of men aged 35 or under said these stereotypes were damaging what it means to be a man or a woman.
The research is part of an expert commission on gender stereotypes in early childhood, which is setting to bring about an end to gender stereotypes for children.
“As my own research has shown, the marketing of toys has a significant role in reinforcing traditional gender stereotypes about what is ‘appropriate’ for girls and for boys, which will feed into children’s later choices about which subjects to study at school and which career paths to consider,” said the Co-chair of the commission, Professor Becky Francis.
“We need to open up those choices for our children rather than narrowing them down.”