Reading is a universal pleasure, regardless of gender. From young ages, we were taught how to read and spell from the beloved books we came across. It was a treat to get new material as a present. Even now, a trip to the bookstore is like a nice vacation, and you don’t have to go far to enjoy yourself.
As I stated in a couple of our other articles about bedtime stories, and childhood books, reading played a significant part in my upbringing. Without reading or a love for literature, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Childwise, “a [UK] company specializing in market research with children” reported “parents of pre-school children spend on average £6 per month on books for boys, 25% less than they spend on books for girls.” I know that during our childhood, my sister and I were more likely to pick up a book than our brothers who were set on video games. I know this may not be the case across the board, but the study does hold true in my experience.
Jenny Ehren, the research manager for Childwise said, “By the time they reach school, boys aged 5-10 read for significantly shorter periods and much less frequently for pleasure than girls of the same age.” Gender stereotypes play a significant role in the selection of items for children. For example, “toy kitchens, tea sets, shopping trolleys and tills are favoured by girls, and toy gardening sets and DIY kits are favoured by boys.”
The evidence proves that some parents are more likely to reach for a book for their daughter and maybe a toy truck for their son, but times are changing. Why should books only be a feminine thing or a gendered thing at all? Let’s hope that on a larger scale, the numbers are different and people change their views on gendering objects.
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