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In Sweden, toy catalog is a sop to political correctness

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: December 9, 2012

Gender differences also are being noted in political campaigns. President Barack Obama's re-election effort famously used data-gathering to micro-target certain voters, gathering more than 80 pieces of information about citizens — including, you guessed it, gender. Time magazine described one of the campaign's data-driven approaches to women in stark terms, saying the “backroom number crunchers who powered Barack Obama's campaign to victory noticed that George Clooney had an almost gravitational tug on West Coast females ages 40 to 49,” making them “far and away the single demographic group most likely to hand over cash” for a chance to dine with Clooney and Obama.

“So as they did with all the other data collected, stored and analyzed in the two-year drive for re-election,” wrote reporter Michael Scherer, “Obama's top campaign aides decided to put this insight to use.”

Typically, those with a liberal worldview are more likely to argue that gender differences are societal constructions, while those with a conservative worldview tend to view them as perfectly natural. Obviously, environment (parenting) plays a huge role in child development, but we suspect most people will see the Top-Toy Group's catalog as a sop to political correctness rather than a serious effort to encourage children to develop a wider range of interests.

If the campaign of Barack Obama, the most liberal political candidate in a generation, believed voters' gender differences justified different marketing approaches, then is it really so ridiculous for toy companies to assume certain products will appeal more to girls than boys and let their advertising reflect it?

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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