CivicScience | Common Ground: There’s a Shift Towards Gender-Neutral Toys

Retail

Common Ground: There’s a Shift Towards Gender-Neutral Toys

Image Credit: Photo by Shitota Yuri on Unsplash

Gender-neutral toys have been around forever, but are starting to see the mainstream. Genderless toys are either marketed as such or stores have decided not to have gendered labels at all, like Target did four years ago. These non-gendered items, like art kits, wooden dollhouses, or Legos, to name just a few, don’t have a specific blue or pink hue to them and are being called ‘gender-neutral’ more and more.

A CivicScience survey – asked to over 2,000 U.S. adults – shows that a small yet mighty percentage of the population has embraced the idea of non-gendered toys. Twenty percent of respondents have either already made a purchase of a gender-neutral toy (11%) or intend to (9%). With just about one-third of the population not familiar with them, you could say it’s about split: half have no interest and the other half are either interested or are just unaware.

And, when asked to look into the future, the majority of the adult population said gender-neutral toys would be niche items – just some people buying them – while the other 33% think they will be more of the norm.

Younger generations have embraced this idea at higher rates, likely because it’s just more front and center.

Thirteen percent of parents have purchased them with another 6% interested. What’s interesting is: though awareness of gender-neutral toys is lowest among those who are not parents, intent to purchase is the highest. 

Non-gendered toys are especially popular among parents of children 0-5 years old, and just a little less so among parents with 6-11 year-olds. This makes sense given the adult age data we saw above, and the fact that it’s a relatively new concept (over the past decade) slowly making its way to the broader population.

Those who have purchased gender-neutral toys before are the most likely to do the bulk of their toy buying on Amazon (or another online-only retailer) this holiday. So, while shoppers are still wrangling their lists, Amazon and others should amp up the gender-neutral toy marketing and consider continuing it outside of the holiday season.

While gender-neutral toys are a relatively new concept for some, the study shows they’re embraced by many, especially younger parents. This trend will likely become pretty commonplace over the next decade.

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