Michigan Lawmakers Propose Genderless Fast-Food Toys

Some Michigan lawmakers seem intent on taking the fun out of fast-food “happy meals” by suggesting that the toy inside the kids’ meal be gender-neutral.

Democrat state Rep. Leslie Love of Detroit introduced House Resolution No. 49 last week to urge fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King to stop gender stereotyping. The resolution explains that giving boys and girls different toys based on biological sex “can influence and limit children’s imaginations and interests by promoting some toys as only suitable for girls and others only for boys.”

In addition, the resolution points to a 2015 study by the Association for Psychological Science that shows that “boys are more likely to play with toys that develop spatial intelligence and reasoning than girls. These skills are especially important for success in academic and professional domains, including science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).” Since STEM jobs are often viewed as having a profitable future, the resolution co-sponsors seem to think that giving a young boy a “STEM toy” will further advantage boys for STEM jobs when they are adults.

The bill currently has one Republican and 13 Democrat co-sponsors but has not yet been set for a vote. The resolution is not legally binding, only a suggestion that fast-food chains change their current practices.

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