Should parents de-emphasize gender norms?

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  • The idea that blue is for boys and pink is for girls plays out in gender reveals and in the toy aisle, but where does it come from and what limits is it potentially placing on children?
  • Lisa Selin Davis traces the gendering of toys and other objects back to the 1920s and explains how, over time, these marketing strategies were falsely conflated with biological traits.
  • The “pink-blue divide” affects boys and girls on a psychological level. For example, psychologists discovered that when girls exit their intense ‘pink princess’ phase between ages 3-6 and move into a tomboy ‘I hate pink’ phase at age 6-8 “that is actually a moment of girls realizing that what’s marked as feminine is devalued and so they’re distancing themselves from it to prop themselves up higher on the ladder,” says Selin Davis.

Tomboy: The Surprising History and Future of Girls Who Dare to Be Different
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