"Using science to understand how little girls’ and boys’ experiences shape them into the young women and men they will become."

Press and Media

Monmouth Prof.'s Talk Draws (Cookie) Monster Crowd
Associate Professor of Psychology Lisa M. Dinella gave an address, "The Power of Play," on Sept. 13 to Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the TV series Sesame Street.

Quartz - A scientific guide to navigating the world of gendered toys without screwing up your kid
Developmental psychologists and parents worry about toys because toys matter.

The Guardian - Are gendered toys harming childhood development?
Research has found that dividing children's toys based on gender can have lasting developmental implications

The New York Times - How gender-specific toys can negatively impact a child's development
Some psychologists are applauding Target's decision to remove gender-based labels in children's bedding and toy aisles, but say more changes are needed

The Washington Post - Wishing to be a mommy to a (girl) mummy this Halloween
See, the problem is that I'm a research scientist who studies kids' gender development. I study how marketing toys as girl toys and boy toys can change kids' toy interests. My kids have heard me repeat that there is no such thing as a "girl toy" or a "boy toy." They know that my research says that toys are important to kids' learning, and that they should play with all the toys that they find interesting - not just the pink or blue ones or those from the boy or girl aisle.

The New York Times - Now That Target Won't Label Toys By Gender, Some Alternatives
Gender labels, like the ones that Target plans to remove, matter when children are choosing toys. When parents, peers, siblings, family members, commercials, television characters and even the toy shelves themselves label toys as "for boys" or "for girls" it limits children's choices. In my own research with Megan Fulcher and Lisa M. Dinella, we found that when children were given a novel toy labeled "for boys" or "for girls," they were more interested in the toy labeled for their own gender. Even one gender label made a difference.

The Washington Post - Want to get your daughters into blocks and Legos? Paint them pink.
I'm standing in the block aisle with my kids' holiday wish lists. Usually, I'm there for my 9-year-old son. But this year, "Girl Legos" is carefully printed at the top of my 6-year-old daughter's list.

As a mom of a boy and a girl - and a gender researcher who studies kids' toys - I'm curious about this. Over the last five years, toy companies have begun to produce toys typically marketed to boys - like bow and arrows - in pink.

Great Adventure safari becomes classroom for Monmouth U. psychology students
JACKSON - A hush fell over the room last week as 13 Monmouth University psychology students knelt on the floor and waited for the subject of the day's lesson to arrive.

With a rattle of an opening cage door, two lion cubs - Kanu and Kondo - bounded into the room and immediately began playfully nipping at the students' hands and gnawing on their shoes.

The Academic Minute - Lisa Dinella, Monmouth University - Gendered Toys
Growing up, did you play with girls' toys or boys' toys? Lisa Dinella, a psychologist at Monmouth University, is studying the nature of gendered toys.

Monmouth University Department of PsychologyACTOP ConferenceGender Development Lab