Amazon eliminates gender bias from search service
11 May 2015 - 14:54 by Graham Miller
Amazon has made a progressive step forward this week by getting rid of the search option which allowed users to look for toys specifically aimed at either boys or girls. This means that things like Barbie dolls and plastic weaponry items are no longer grouped separately based on gender, according to the Independent.
Customers will, of course, be able to search for and buy specific toy items via safe shopping online, but Amazon will no longer use its algorithms to determine which products are best suited to a specific gender.
There are still many different ways through which shoppers can narrow down their search, selecting to seek only toys within a specific age range or from a particular genre. But the idea of stereotypical toys appealing to particular genders has been expunged from the site’s search capabilities altogether.
Commentators have pointed out that the toy industry has evolved significantly in the past couple of decades, moving away from a heavily gendered approach, both in terms of marketing and design, to allow products to appeal to and empower boys and girls alike, regardless of their preferences.
Crucially, it has also been discovered that customers who do want to find all of the ‘gendered’ toys grouped separately from one another can do so, as the pages still exist on Amazon. It is simply that links to them have been removed from prominent positions and the search option has disappeared.
People who carry out safe shopping online are savvy enough to know what their kids will like to play with and there should be no real hindrance to the shopping experience as a result of Amazon’s latest changes. So, perhaps major retailers can be persuaded to adapt to the pressures of the market where it makes sense.