“Extensive research shows that certain toys and games can help young children develop the spatial logic and other analytical skills critical to science, technology, engineering and math.
“A huge part of the reason women are not entering these fields and huge part of the solution starts at the very beginning.”
New York Times: Guys and Dolls No More?
During my research into the role of gender in Sears catalog toy advertisements over the 20th century, I found that in 1975, very few toys were explicitly marketed according to gender, and nearly 70 percent showed no markings of gender whatsoever. In the 1970s, toy ads often defied gender stereotypes by showing girls building and playing airplane captain, and boys cooking in the kitchen.
But by 1995, the gendered advertising of toys had crept back to midcentury levels, and it’s even more extreme today. In fact, finding a toy that is not marketed either explicitly or subtly (through use of color, for example) by gender has become incredibly difficult.