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Science, maths toys more likely for boys

Press Association logoPress Association 9/12/2016

Boys are almost three times as likely as girls to receive science and maths toys this Christmas, according to the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

The IET found that 31 per cent of science, technology, engineering and maths toys were listed for boys, compared with 11 per cent listed for girls.

Using the search terms boys' toys and girls' toys, the study also found that 89 per cent of toys listed for girls were pink compared with one per cent for boys.

The report said Google, Yahoo, Bing and Amazon stood out as the main culprits for the high numbers of pink toys listed under girls' toys.

The IET warned that societal stereotypes driving the gendered gift lists could be turning young girls away from careers in technology and engineering.

It said that while the onus was on parents to think outside the pink and blue boxes when shopping for their children, toy retailers and search engines also had a responsibility not to perpetuate gender stereotypes.

The institute said search engines in particular could look at introducing ways of detecting patterns of gender bias.

IET spokeswoman Mamta Singhal said the research showed girls have an interest in science, technology and engineering subjects at school, but greater work was needed to translate the interest into a higher number of women entering the industry.

"The toy industry is changing slowly and over the years more gender neutral toys such as science kits have started appearing," she said.

"Toys can really influence what a child does in later years."

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