Speaking at a major education summit, a leading academic and TV presenter has said that the popular Danish toy may be part of the reason why girls don’t perform as well as boys in science.
Professor Alice Roberts, star of BBC’s Coast and Prehistoric Autopsy, attacked suggestions by education experts that schools could adopt ‘shopping-based’ problems to encourage girls in maths, The Telegraph reports. The suggestions were in response to an international report that showed Britain was one of only three countries where teenage girls did worse than boys in maths and science,
Professor Roberts blamed sexist attitudes for deterring girls from studying science and suggested that Lego may be part of the problem. “Lego has always been a good toy which teaches children about engineering,” she said, “But Lego is now producing a range which it says is for girls, which is completely pink and is about creating cakes. I think the problem is happening at a very young age, when the idea is instilled that there is a big difference between girls and boys, rather than at age 15.”
The Lego Friends range includes a set for girls with figures in pink, purple and green settings, a dream house and a beauty shop and has been criticised for fuelling gender stereotypes. A Lego spokesman said: “We’ve always had Lego bricks that are pink and we’ve got a wide range of different sets. We don’t say ‘this is for girls’. It’s up to the child or the parent to make the choice.”
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