Lego is working to remove “gender bias” from their toys because boys worry that they will be picked on for playing with the playsets geared towards little girls.
Traditionally, there have been sets including things like vehicles or superheroes for boys and playsets like Lego Friends, for girls, which feature themes like cute pets and houses.
The building block company announced the changes after commissioning a global survey which found that attitudes to play and future careers “remain unequal and restrictive.”
They found girls were increasingly confident in playing with sets geared towards either gender, while seventy-one percent of boys were concerned that they would be picked on if they played with the sets geared towards girls.
Apparently, parents also shared these concerns.
“Parents are more worried that their sons will be teased than their daughters for playing with toys associated with the other gender,” said Madeline Di Nonno, the chief executive of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, who conducted the research, according to a report from the Guardian.
“But it’s also that behaviours associated with men are valued more highly in society,” said Di Nonno. “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.”
The organization surveyed 7,000 parents and children from six to 14 in China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Russia, UK and the US.
“We’re working hard to make Lego more inclusive,” Julia Goldin, the chief product and marketing officer at the Lego Group, told the Guardian.
“Traditionally, Lego has been accessed by more boys, but products like [arts and crafts line] Lego Dots or Lego City Wildlife Rescue Camp have been specifically designed to appeal to boys and girls,” Goldin added. According to the report, the “Lego mandate is now to promote nurturing and caring as well as spatial awareness, creative reasoning and problem solving.”
Lego also launched a rainbow-themed LGBTQ+ set in May called “Everyone Is Awesome” and has released a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy set.