Michigan lawmaker pushing fast food restaurants to stop offering gender-based toys

Published: Nov. 29, 2018 at 9:07 AM CST
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Michigan lawmakers are pushing fast food restaurants to stop offering gender-based toys.

A House resolution introduced Wednesday urges food establishments and franchisees to stop offering 'boy toys' and 'girl toy' because they limit children's imagination.

State representatives want the resolution to offer customers a choice, like Transformers or My Little Pony.

Despite numerous studies highlighting harmful effects of gender-classified toys, many stores in Michigan continue to offer them.

Read the full House resolution below:
House Resolution No. 429. A resolution to urge food establishments and franchisees to stop gender classification of kid's meal toys. Whereas, Food establishments often offer a toy with their meals marketed to young children, and in some cases the customer is asked if they prefer a "girl toy" or a "boy toy." Often, the designated "boy toys" are action figures or building toys; typically, in primary colors, whereas "girl toys" are often stuffed animals and are usually in a pastel color scheme. This is a significant issue as billions of these meals are sold every year and this practice can influence and limit children’s imaginations and interests by promoting some toys as only suitable for girls and others only for boys. While some food establishments claim to have abandoned this practice, many stores in Michigan continue to offer gender-classified options to customers; and Whereas, Numerous studies have highlighted the harmful effects of gender-classified toys. Toys and play are the earliest form of learning, especially in the beginning stages of childhood development, and children begin learning about gender roles as early as age two. According to the Gender Development Laboratory at Monmouth University, as the child grows older and develops, his or her play activities change based on societal connection to their gender grouping; and Whereas, Targeting the offering of toys by gender has consequences beyond socialization. A 2015 study published by the Association for Psychological Science concluded that boys are more likely to play with toys that develop spatial intelligence and reasoning than girls. These skills are especially important for success in academic and professional domains, including science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). If a customer desires a toy, it should be one of his or her choice without classification by gender. Customers should simply be offered the choice of toy. (Example: Would you like a Transformer or a My Little Pony?); now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we urge food establishments and franchisees in Michigan to stop gender classification of toys offered in its kid's meals; and be it further Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the CEO of the boards of directors of the major fast food chains in Michigan.