Does Barbie need more doll options that portray diverse doctors?

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Medical-themed Barbie dolls are missing in each variety and accuracy, in keeping with a latest research. Researchers say that present medical and scientific Barbie dolls usually neglect medical and laboratory security requirements. As an illustration, these dolls regularly have unfastened hair and put on excessive heels, which is opposite to security norms in these fields.

The enduring fashion doll has represented numerous careers, starting from a building employee and trainer to a veterinarian, decide, scientist, and medical physician. These dolls symbolize the professions that kids might aspire to pursue. Nevertheless, no prior research have scrutinized Barbie dolls depicting medical professionals and scientists for his or her skilled authenticity and the vary of careers they characterize.

A group of scientists launched into a mission to deal with this hole, analyzing 92 Barbie profession dolls in medical or scientific roles. They evaluated the dolls’ apparel, accessories, and packaging, assessing their private security gear in opposition to Indiana College’s tips.

The findings reveal a scarcity of variety among the many dolls, with 98 p.c depicted as adults, 93 p.c as feminine, and 59 p.c as White. Moreover, not one of the dolls had a visual incapacity.

The researchers be aware that themed dolls play a vital function in inspiring future medical professionals and scientists. They urge toy companies to attempt for extra correct, and professionally various representations of medical skilled and scientist dolls.

“For younger ladies’ sakes as a lot as her personal, Barbie should hold shattering glass ceilings,” says medical researcher Katherine Klamer from Indiana College, in a media release.

Barbie doll
Barbie doll (Photograph by Sandra Gabriel on Unsplash)

The research additionally finds that almost all of Barbie medical skilled dolls (66%) had been depicted as treating children, with solely 4 p.c proven working with grownup sufferers. Regardless of being outfitted with medical equipment like laboratory coats, microscopes, stethoscopes, and glasses, not one of the dolls absolutely met the skilled security requirements of their depicted fields. For instance, solely 4 p.c of the dolls included face masks, and none had disposable gloves.

Furthermore, greater than two-thirds of the feminine medical skilled and scientist dolls had unfastened hair, and over half wore high heels, each of that are typically discouraged or outright banned in real-life settings for security causes. The group believes that feminine medical students are nonetheless disproportionately deterred from pursuing surgical careers, even in prestigious establishments. They hope that these Barbies would possibly encourage extra girls to enter these male-dominated industries.

“As surgeons in decidedly male dominated fields, we help Klamer’s conclusion that Barbies ought to characterize a extra various subject of medical and scientific professions and that security comes earlier than vogue,” says Prof. Sareh Parangi. “We encourage and would welcome the creation of a surgeon Barbie, and could be completely satisfied to advise Mattel on the right accompanying gear and PPE to verify the doll is real looking and enjoyable!”

The research is revealed in The BMJ.

South West Information Service author Isobel Williams contributed to this report.

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