Councils could ban children’s books, toys and characters for not meeting gender test

May 21, 2018

Victorian councils are auditing libraries, schools and kindergartens and urging a ban on the terms “boy” and “girl” in a bid to teach kids as young as three to have “gender equitable relationships”.

Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi has blasted the ideology, saying "Cultural Marxism is taking over our public institutions and must be stopped. These radical changes are being introduced into our education system and they raise the legitimate concerns of a great many parents."

The Herald Sun newspaper reports the City of Melbourne is among a number of local authorities responding to radical new research that suggests educators should:

  • Avoid classifying children according to gender and having boys-only and girls-only activities;
  • Avoid use of the terms boys and girls and to “minimise the extent to which gender is labelled”; and
  • Avoid comments that define what females or males do or should do.

The Australian National University research, published in March, studied how children were influenced by gender stereotyping and found “prejudice along race and gender lines can be observed in children as young as 3-4 years of age”.

Under the new guidelines:

  • children’s favourites including Thomas the Tank Engine, Noddy and Winnie the Pooh could be banned for not meeting gender tests, and
  • Disney dress-ups, Barbie and Bratz dolls and superhero play could also become a thing of the past.

The study says,

“If girls avoid playing with toys such as Lego, they may miss opportunities to develop special and mechanical reasoning skills that are necessary for careers and courses in science, tech­nology, engineering and ­mathematics.”

Girls who played with “highly feminised characters” like Barbies had fewer career options; engagement with Disney princess toys led to more female-stereotypical views.

Boys who watched superhero shows were more gender-stereotyped in their thinking, according to the study, which analysed 28 academic papers on gender in early learning.

Educational resources suggest educators apply a “gender lens” to programs and materials, such as by reviewing books to ensure “a range of different stories and experiences beyond gender stereotypical narratives”.

Teachers are told to not select toys in gendered colours and to not use expressions such as “boys will be boys”.

Others councils running or managing hundreds of childcare centres and kindergartens are taking a similar approach.

Opposition youth and families spokeswoman Georgie Crozier said councils should “butt out of this nonsense” of banning books.

“It’s crazy. Boys should be boys and girls should be girls,” she said.

“Any funding should be focused on interventions to prevent family violence, and not radical gender-based theories.”

Senator Bernardi has told 2GB this push for gender neutral education is just more of the same socialist agenda from Labor and the Greens.

To read Susie O'Brien's full article, click here.

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