Dr. Rebecca Hains

Category: shopping


“Princess park rangers” and “Space princesses”: Because gender stereotypes are inescapable, even on vacation.

The school year is starting. Families are returning home from their vacation travels with souvenirs and many fond memories; children are eager to tell their classmates what they did on their summer vacations. But unfortunately, many families’ travels brought them…

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Kids’ products and gender: What’s on the packaging?

Preschoolers can be quick to notice gendered illustrations on products. If a package has a picture of a boy on it, that item must be for boys; if it has a picture of a girl on it, it must be…

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Halloween and the rise of sexy costumes for women and girls

For years, families struck a balance between store-bought and homemade Halloween costumes. But these days, DIY Halloween costumes are out; store-bought costumes are an $2.87 billion business. What does this mean for consumers? Well, for one thing, we’re seeing a…

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For Father’s Day, shared experiences make the best gifts

When it comes to selecting great gifts for kids, it’s important to gift experiences, not just toys. After all, studies show that experiences make people happier than objects do: Objects break, become outdated, or pale in comparison to superior items, and the…

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Science Museum gift shop offers girls “space princess” tees and other stereotypes

Boston MoS shirts and hats

You know, there are a lot of ways to get girls excited about science, but I don’t think this is one of them: Neither is this: The fact that a science museum is targeting girls Lego Friends style–by coating the gender-neutral…

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Disney Princess flowers: coming soon to a garden near you.

Imagine this scenario: Four-year-old Madison is obsessed with princesses. She wants to eat, sleep, breathe nothing but Disney Princess products, and it’s becoming a point of contention in her household. Her parents are tired of all the little battles over…

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Princess Extravagance, from Preschool to Prom

What do little girls in princess dresses and teenagers at proms have in common? More than you might think! Last week, a new survey found that nationwide, U.S. teens and their families will spend an average of $1,000 on this…

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At Stride Rite, girls are pretty and boys are active.

A few days ago, one mom wrote about a conversation she overheard, in which her 6-year-old daughter’s classmate insisted that sparkly shoes are not for playing–they’re for looking pretty: “Your shoes are ugly,” said the kindergarten classmate. “No they are not,”…

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