Auswirkungen von Werbung darauf, dass Kinder auch gerne mit nicht geschlechterstereotypen Spielzeug spielen

Ein interessantes Experiment zu Kinderspielzeug:

Lauren Spinner, a developmental psychologist at the University of Kent in England, was the first author on a study published in January in the journal Sex Roles, which looked at the effect of showing 4- to 7-year-olds images of children playing with either stereotypic or counter-stereotypic toys.

A researcher read aloud the words that were printed in a bubble beside the image. In one experimental group, the children followed gender stereotype: “Hello! My name is Sarah, and my favorite toy is My Little Pony! I have lots, and play with them every day.” “Hello! My name is Thomas, and every day I like to play with my cars. They’re my favorite toys!” For the other experimental group, Sarah had the car and Thomas had My Little Pony; the language was otherwise identical.

After they had seen the pictures, the children in the study were shown a set of toys, chosen to be stereotypically masculine and feminine (baby doll, jet fighter, tool kit, tea set) and asked who should play with which toy, and the children who had seen the counter-stereotypic pictures were more flexible in their answers, more open to the idea that both girls and boys might like toys from both sides of the conventional aisle.

They were also less rigid when they were asked which children from the pictures they wanted to play with; exposure to Sarah-with-the-car and Thomas-with-the-pony meant that children were more open to playing with representatives of the other gender. So the toys in the pictures affected who the children wanted as playmates.

Also wenn sie die Idee vermittelt  bekommen hatten, dass andere Kinder vielleicht auch gerne mit dem Spielzeug spielten, welches sie toll finden, dann zogen sie diese auch eher als Spielkameraden in Betracht. Es wäre interessant, wie lange dieser Effekt anhielt.

Dr. Spinner pointed out that seeing the photos did not open up the children’s preferences for what toys they themselves wanted to play with; they were more likely to say that other boys and girls could play with a variety of toys, but the two experimental groups were equally unlikely to make those counter-stereotypic choices themselves. On the other hand, she said, it was only one exposure, and it’s possible, if there were more of those counter-stereotypic images around, that children might become more open to enjoying the whole spectrum of toys.

Die Kinder selbst änderten also ihre Meinung  nicht, die Beeinflussung bliebt folgenlos, weil die Kinder ja wussten, welches Spielzeug ihnen Spass macht.

Weiter in dem Artikel:

Laura Zimmermann, a developmental psychologist who is a professor of psychology at Shenandoah University in Virginia, was the first author on a study published last year in the Journal of Children and Media, which looked at preschool children’s responses to toy commercials. Children are showing more flexibility than they used to, she said, in terms of who they thought the ads were meant for, responding that both boys and girls, for example, could like Batman, or like the “female” line of Lego building blocks.

Their behavior got much more stereotypical when they were asked their own preferences,” she said, and the boys especially were unwilling to say that they liked any of the ads aimed at girls.

But the ads themselves, she said, continue to reflect the same old stereotypes. “My concerns are that children’s ads shape and reinforce stereotypes,” Dr. Zimmermann said. “They are obviously not working alone; we have wider societal influences at work, but ads are powerful.”

Wieder zeigt sich das gleiche Bild: Die Kinder akzeptieren, dass das Spielzeug bei anderen des anderen Geschlechts auch ankommen könnte, bleiben aber selbst dabei. Und der Effekt dürfte sich verlieren, wenn die anderen Kinder das ebenso machen und sie bemerken, dass die Aussagen nicht stimmten. Dann wird es vielleicht sogar eher eine Verstärkung des Stereotyps geben.