LEGO: Why the toy giants are going to remove gender bias from its products

Danish toy giants Lego have announced that, following a survey into its product, they will remove gender stereotypes from its toys.

Children hands play with colorful lego blocks on white table.

According to the company, the survey, which was carried out by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, identified that: “Girls are ready for the world but society isn’t quite ready to support their growth through play.

“Girls feel less restrained by and are less supportive of typical gender biases than boys when it comes to creative play (74% of boys vs. 62% of girls believe that some activities are just meant for girls, while others are meant for boys), and they are more open towards different types of creative play compared to what their parents and society typically encourage.

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“For example, 82% of girls believe it’s OK for girls to play football and boys to practice ballet, compared to only 71% of boys.

“Our insights further indicate that girls are typically encouraged into activities that are more cognitive, artistic and related to performance compared to boys who are more likely to be pushed into physical and STEM-like activities (digital, science, building, tools).

“Parents from this study are almost five times as likely to encourage girls over boys to engage in dance (81% vs. 19%) and dress-up (83% vs. 17%) activities, and over three times as likely to do the same for cooking/baking (80% vs. 20%).

“Adversely, they are almost four times as likely to encourage boys over girls to engage in program games (80% vs. 20%) and sports (76% vs. 24%) and over twice as likely to do the same when it comes to coding toys (71% vs. 29%).”

LEGO mini characters which are isolated on white in Hong Kong on 1 March 2015. Lego minifigure are the successful line in Lego products

The release of the survey results coincides with ‘International Day of The Girl’ and the company has used the day to help promote inclusive play.

The spokesperson added: “The LEGO Group is calling on parents and children to champion inclusive play. To help, they have developed a fun 10-step guide and invite parents to share photos of their child’s LEGO creations against a pre-defined AR backdrop featuring the words ‘Get the World Ready for Me’.”

Madeline Di Nonno of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media told the Guardian about some of the findings in the survey.

She said: “Parents are more worried that their sons will be teased than their daughters for playing with toys associated with the other gender, but it’s also that behaviours associated with men are valued more highly in society.

“Until societies recognise that behaviours and activities typically associated with women are as valuable or important, parents and children will be tentative to embrace them.”