Men are much more likely than women to believe it is acceptable that brands manufacture or market toys specifically at boys or girls, new research from YouGov reveals.

The Attitudes Towards Equality and Gender Stereotyping report indicates that close to seven in ten (69%) men believe it is generally acceptable that some toys are made or marketed specifically for just boys or just girls. This compares to just less than half (49%) of women.

While in women, in general, are more likely than men to believe that gendered products have the effect of reinforcing stereotypes (44% vs 39%), this is especially true among younger women. Over six in ten (61%) of women aged 18-24 believe products specifically made for men and women enforce stereotypes, compared to 42% of men aged 18-24. Older people are less likely to agree, with 38% of women and 35% of men aged 55+ believing that gender specific items reinforce stereotypes.

The report also considers the use of ‘gendered colours’ in advertising. Almost six in ten (59%) of men and 36% of women aged 18-24 said it’s generally acceptable to have gendered colours. This rises to 65% among men and 55% of women aged 55+. Looking to the general population, 30% find it generally unacceptable, 58% say it’s generally acceptable.

Kate Fillery, from YouGov, said: “As the ASA announces its plans for stronger regulation of gender stereotypical adverts, there is an opportunity to embrace these changes and dispense of old practices in order to really stand out.

It’s the younger generation, and in particular young women, who are less likely to turn a blind eye when it comes to gender stereotyping. Relying on older consumers has a limited shelf life, and sticking with a traditional approach to gender could risk alienating their potential future customers.”

Click here to see the full report.


By Jonathan Davies, editor, Digital Marketing Magazine

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