an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

iTunes Apps: For Boys or Girls

Posted by Rosepixie on December 19, 2009

These are screenshots of the iTunes app store that were sent to me by a friend of mine.

Notice that apps are divided into “Apps for Boys” (which is denoted by the rocket ship) and “Apps for Girls” (which is written in a curlicue font).  So what are boy- and girl- specific apps?

Boys apparently get branded games (Shrek, Transformers), Radio Disney, something called Snakes (?) and a fun sounding math game.

Girls get Disney as well, although it’s a different app, and branded games (Hello Kitty), but their games are about fashion and predicting your future (if it’s like the MASH games I played as a kid, it’s probably pretty focused on marriage and home).  They also get a math app like the boys did, but instead of a fun game, they get flash cards.  Because girls suck at math, right?

So not only is the app store dividing apps up by sex, but it perpetuating stereotypes while it does it.  Boys like action and creepy crawlies while girls like fashion, mostly dream about getting married and having families and are bad at math.

And people wonder why these stereotypes won’t go away and why even toddlers often buy into them.


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