Toy advertisements aimed at children have caused a stir about gender roles in Sweden. File photo: Yvonne Åsell/Scanpix
Gender stereotypes in catalogues

Toy companies alter gender representations

Toy companies alter gender representations
4:58 min

Dolls in pink packaging for girls, and action figures and cars for boys. Toy catalogues have come under fire in Sweden for playing on gender stereotypes. Well, ahead of this year's Christmas shopping frenzy, we took a look at a catalogue that's tried to go against the grain, showing girls and boys cooking by a play stove and a boy walking his puppies.

Karin Westholm, a mother of twins, is pleased to the see the change, and says that things were much worse when she studied gender stereotypes for a theatre play about ten years ago.

"You could see lots of boys doing lots of active stuff. And the girls were looking at them, being passive," Karin Westholm says.

When shown a page in the catalogue of a girl using a slingshot, Karin Westholm says that means "progress" – but some are skeptical.

"The girl on this page is admiring the boy taking a photo. That is a tendency: to have a girl passively watch a boy, admiring his performance," the gender researcher Yvonne Eriksson says.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
Du hittar dina sparade avsnitt i menyn under "Min lista".