Lego to Remove Gender Stereotypes from Toys

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday October 13, 2021
Originally published on October 13, 2021

Lego is officially done with gender stereotypes. The company recently announced plans to remove gender from its toys after a global study found that these stereotypes play a big role in the futures of children, reported USA Today.

Lego Group commissioned the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (yes, actor Geena Davis) to carry out the research.

"In a survey of almost 7,000 parents and children, aged 6-14, worldwide, the majority of children reported feeling confident in engaging in a wide range of activities — including those that have been historically gendered," reports USA Today. "But girls expressed this stronger than boys."

According to the study, "82% of girls agreed that girls can play football and boys can practice ballet, compared to 71% of boys." Additionally, "42% of girls said they worry about being made fun of for playing with a toy typically associated for the other gender, compared to 71% of boys — a fear often shared by parents."

The results show that gender roles are learned, not born explained Madeline Di Nonno, president and CEO of the Geena Davis Institute.

"The girls are ready, we just have to get out of the way," she told USA Today. "Girls are more likely to consider a wider range of jobs versus boys."

But there is still a lot more work to do, said Di Nonno, stressing the impact of generational stereotypes on creative play and career goals.

Parents play part the study found. Parents are reportedly "6 times more likely" to think of scientists and athletes as men rather than women, and over "3 times" as likely to encourage girls to engage in cooking/baking than boys.

The study was published Monday in recognition of the United Nations' International Day of the Girl and marked the launch of a new Lego campaign called "Ready for Girls," which, as written in a news release, "celebrates girls who rebuild the world through creative problem-solving."

"We have always been focused on ensuring that LEGO play was for all children, but within the recent years we have focused more on putting systematic processes into place to ensure LEGO products and marketing be as inclusive as possible," said Julia Goldin, Chief Product and Marketing Officer Lego Group, in a statement to USA Today.

Additionally, the company shared that it plans to work with the Geena Davis Institute and UNICEF to ensure that Lego products and marketing are free of harmful stereotypes.