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Children's Health Channel
Reported March 6, 2014

Barbie Changes Career Possibilities for Girls

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Playing with a Barbie doll limits the career opportunities young girls see for women, according to a new study published in the journal Sex Roles.

Researchers randomly assigned 37 girls between the ages of four and seven to play with either a Barbie doll, dressed as a fashion model or a doctor, or a Mrs. Potato Head doll. After five minutes of playing, researchers showed the girls ten pictures of different occupations and asked them how many of the jobs girls or boys could do in the future. The girls who played with either Barbie doll saw fewer opportunities for girls than boys, while those who played with Mrs. Potato Head saw nearly as many opportunities for girls as boys.

“Perhaps Barbie can ‘Be Anything’ as the advertising for this doll suggests, but girls who play with her may not apply these possibilities to themselves,” researcher Aurora Sherman of Oregon State University was quoted as saying. “Something about the type of doll, not characteristics of the participants, causes the difference in career aspirations.”

For more information, go to: http://www.springer.com/about+springer/media/springer+select?SGWID=0-11001-6-1456641-0

SOURCE: Sex Roles, March 2014

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