Dr Amanda Gummer is a Play Expert and child psychologist. She has a PhD in Neuropsychology, a postgraduate certificate in Higher Education and over 20 years’ experience working with children and families.
She founded the Good Play Guide in 2012 to provide an independent, expert accreditation service for children’s products, which has now expanded to incorporate 4 further Good Guides now under the Good Play Guide Umbrella – Toys, Apps, Baby and Learning.
Dr Gummer is widely considered as the UK’s go-to expert on play, toys and child development and can be seen regularly in the media, including BBC News, Sky News, The Daily Mail and many more, offering advice on news stories and issues surrounding children, families and child development.
In this interview, Dr Amanda Gummer discusses the role that toys and play have in gender socialization – the process of learning and internalizing cultural norms, values, attitudes, and expectations associated with gender. She explains how different societies have different gender norms, values, and expectations, and these are communicated and transmitted through socialization.
Dr Gummer reflects on the ways that the toy industry has made progress in moving away from gendered toys and towards more gender-neutral play, but she believes that there is still a conflict between leading or following consumer demand.
Dr Gummer explains the ways that gender stereotypes and gender socialization can lead to mental health issues in children.
She finishes the session with lots of recommendations for tried and tested, gender-neutral toys for all children.
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