Hiroko Oe, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2841-7583
Dr, Principal Academic in Marketing at Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University, Great Britain
Yasuyuki Yamaoka, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1082-9691
Dr, Department of Society and Industry, The Open University of Japan, Japan
This paper summarizes the arguments and counterarguments within the scientific discussion on the issue of gender-neutral parenting. The main purpose of the research is to investigate UK Millennial parents’ perceptions of gender-neutral parenting and their toy buying behaviour. Systematization of the literary sources and approaches for solving the problem of confusion between gender-neutral and gender-oriented parenting with a focus on children’s toys’ labelling, indicates that even with the subjective norm and strong initiatives of UK government who has been launching campaigns against gender-oriented parenting, still there has not agreed on the best solution for implementing gender-neutral mindset. Investigation of the topic of the research in the paper is carried out in the following logical sequence: introduction with research gap, literature review, methodology, findings and analysis, and conclusion. Methodological tools of the research were quantitative approach with SPSS ver.26. The object of research is the survey dataset collected from 1127 UK Millennial parents. The paper presents the results of an empirical analysis using Kruskal–Wallis test depending on children’s gender, parents’ birth years, and regression model. The result showed that, although there is recognition that gender-neutral parenting should be advocated as a social rule, the degree of final purchase behaviour towards gender-neutral toys is lower than these parents’ beliefs would suggest. The research empirically confirms and theoretically proves that at least UK Millennials believe in the gender-free theory, however, their real behaviour does not necessarily go abide by the perceived rule. In other words, while people may agree with the concept of gender-neutral parenting, they do not necessarily agree with gender-neutral parenting as a behavioural principle. The results of the research can be useful for developing further social recognition of gender-naturalness, and other relevant industrial marketing strategies.
Keywords: gender-neutral parenting, UK Millennials, beliefs, toys, quantitative approach.
JEL Classification: Z13, M39.
Cite as: Oe, H., Yamaoka, Ya. (2023). Gender-neutral perceptions and toy purchasing behaviour: a socio-cultural transition in UK Millennials’ attitudes. SocioEconomic Challenges, 7(1), 15-30. https://doi.org/10.21272/sec.7(1).15-30.2023
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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