It’s no secret that all the engineering and science loving characters that kids love today are all men. Think of the LEGO Man, Sid the Science Kid or Bob the Builder, just to name a few. Construction toys are also geared towards boys. Talk about LEGO, K’Nex and others.
Indeed, 90 percent of enginers are men.
If you think of the typical toys that kids play with, the gender differences are extremely apparent. While boys get construction toys, cars and robots, girls play with dolls, or stuffed animals. It’s not that big a stretch of the imagination to realize that this does ingrain certain gender roles in kids’ identities.
But why isn’t it the other way around? Why aren’t there more girls playing with construction toys?
Are girls wired differently, or is there something else going on?
There is this general belief that certain types of toys are not appealing to one gender or the other because that’s simply the way the world works. That’s the way things are and there’s nothing you can do about it.
But who says things must be a certain way? It’s definitely not the kids. They’re too young to understand what’s going on.
Well, according to a 1967 essay by sociologist Barry Schwartz titled “The Social Psychology of the Gift“, it may actually have something to do with how parents see their kids and how they set the gender roles.
“Gifts are one of the ways in which the pictures that others have of us in their minds are transmitted. … The function of’ ‘masculine” and ‘feminine’ gifts relative to sexual identification is clear enough. By the giving of different types of ‘masculine’ gifts, for example, the mother and father express their image of the child as ‘a little soldier’ or ‘a little chemist or engineer.’ “
In other words, it’s parents who assume certain identities for their children through the toys they offer as gifts.
And they’re indirectly setting a path for their kids.
That’s where GoldieBlox steps in
Debbie Sterling, and engineer and entrepreneur in San Francisco thought of an idea to get more girls interested in engineering and other typically ‘masculine’ activities.
The plan was to bring to life a new character, GoldieBlox, a female engineer. The doll would come together with a construction set and introduce girls to a fascinating world, where solving problems and building things is no longer something that just boys do.
How is she going to do that?
The excitement that girls get when they manage to pull it off and make the construction work is unbelievable. According to the inventor, that moment when they got the machine working was magical for every girl that she tested.
As the story moves further, the constructions get more and more complex and that gets girls hooked!
So how can you get Goldie Blox for your ‚little engineer’?
At the moment, the toy is still just a project. Goldie Blox’s website is up and running and she just got on Kickstarter to raise enough money for the initial production.
By the looks of it, she’s about to start production any day now, since she raised almost the entire sum needed in just three days.
I’m willing to bet that by Christmas, among the many princesses in the toy stores, you’ll find a little female engineer that will try to win your little angel’s heart.