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Limiting children’s choice of toys can fuel stereotypes

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Stereotypes, toys, children, New York, technology, mathematics, engineering, science,New York: While buying toys, parents and grandparents should consider the child’s interests, not their gender because limiting choice of toys according to gender can fuel stereotypes, suggests new research.

Clues to the continued dominance of men in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields — and the reason nurturing often comes more easily to women — can be found in the children’s toy department, said sociologist Elizabeth Sweet from California State University, Sacramento, US.”When we wall off the toys that develop spatial skills or are devoted to science and say, ‘These are only for boys,’ and we wall off the toys that develop empathy and verbal skills and say, ‘These are only for girls,’ it severely limits how children develop,” Sweet said in a university statement.

“If kids aren’t exposed to the kinds of toys and play that help them develop those skills, they may not be as good at them over time. But even more insidious is that it reinforces the stereotype that boys are good at science and math, and girls are not. It pushes women and girls out of that field, because they think it’s not for them,” she explained. Sweet believes that making STEM toys pink, as proposed by some toy manufacturers, would not help much.

“I think that’s the wrong approach,” Sweet said.”I think that plays up the stereotype that girls are so different that they need a special kind of STEM toys,” noted.”Research shows that different kinds of toys help children to develop different kinds of skills,” she said.”For instance, building blocks are great for building spatial skills. Playing with dolls is really good for developing language skills and nurturing abilities. All of those skills are essential for a fully functioning human,” Sweet pointed out.

Business

ITC ropes in Amway to sell new immunity boosting fruit juices.

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ITC’s B Natural and Amway India have collaborated to launch the first of its kind B Natural+ range of products. The new B Natural + range will be available in two popular variants – Orange and Mixed Fruit.

As per the retail conglomerate, B Natural intends to provide its consumers the dual benefit of Immunity + Fruit & Fiber with the launch of the B Natural + range.

Addressing a media conference on Thursday, Hemant Malik, Divisional Chief Executive − Foods Division, ITC Ltd said. “At ITC, we are committed to developing world class Indian products that address the needs of the Indian consumer. Given the current health crisis, immunity of the entire family has emerged as a key consumer priority and B Natural proactively spearheaded the endeavor of providing an effective fruit beverage range this summer that could contribute to supporting immunity with a clinically proven ingredient.”

ITC’s innovation engine, Life Sciences and Technology Center (LSTC), has accelerated its activities during the pandemic and the team – that has been working on various health and nutrition areas for nearly a decade – has developed an immunity-boosting ingredient.

Direct marketeer Amway will take the B Natural + range of products to individual customers across the country through its large army of micro-entrepreneurs. Under this partnership, the companies are expecting to sell health beverages worth ₹20 crore this year.

The newly launched B Natural + range in Orange and Mixed Fruit variants will be available in 1 litre packs at a price point of ₹130 across modern trade formats, general trade stores and e-commerce websites, through ITC’s PAN-India distribution network.

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