Study Finds That "Gendered" Toys Can Keep Girls From Careers in STEM
A recent study by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has revealed that "toys with a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focus were three times as likely to be targeted at boys than girls."
According to The Guardian, the IET's current focus is on significantly increasing the number of girls and women who pursue careers in STEM fields, in which a very low percentage currently work or study.
"Societal stereotypes driving these gendered listings could be having a knock-on effect for the next generation of engineers, especially girls, impacting their future career choices," the IET told The Guardian.
The analysis determined that 31 percent of STEM-related toys were listed on-sites and in-stores for boys, while only 11 percent were listed for girls. Toy manufacturers associated with the IET are looking to create and market toys that will help "translate [female interest in STEM] into a higher number of women entering the industry."
While the study notes that despite the progress that's been made, the toy industry and the way toys are marketed have quite a ways to go before they can entirely eliminate biases — particularly gender ones.
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