LEGO announces it will banish gender bias from its toys and marketing

Parents are more than eight times as likely to think of engineers as men than as women, regardless of whether their own children are boys or girls. That's just one of the insights LEGO gleaned from an international survey of 6,844 parents and children it conducted with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, testing for 'implicit bias in how parents define creativity differently for their sons and their daughters.'

Reason enough for the Danish toymaker to vow to remove gender bias from its products and marketing, partnering with the Geena Davis Institute and UNICEF to do so. No word yet on which steps it will take, but LEGO started by releasing 10 tips for parents to 'support unstereotyped growth', like swapping gender roles in stories and encouraging mixed-gender friendships.

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Gendered toys can reinforce generalizations like the idea that boys play with LEGO because their spatial reasoning skills are better, and girls role play with dolls because they're social creatures. As society s-l-o-w-l-y evolves its notions about gender identity and equality, brands like LEGO aren't just responding, but have an opportunity to pave the way to a more progressive future. One brick at a time ;-)

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