EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (BP) -- Mattel's new gender-fluid Creatable World doll can be harmful to children confused about their gender and will likely flop on the market, Christian experts told Baptist Press.
"These are dolls created by adults for adults to make them feel good about their radical gender theories," Focus on the Family's (FOTF) Glenn Stanton told Baptist Press. "You're going to be able to find these toys on the discount table in about four months, after Christmas."
Stanton, FOTF's director of family formation studies, noted that "parents are not clamoring for this. Kids are not clamoring for this."
Bob Stith, a Southern Baptist gender issues expert and founder of Family and Gender Issues Ministries in Southlake, Texas, told BP the dolls are irresponsible.
"Children can be notoriously fluid in many of their choices. Think foods for instance," he said. "So why would we blur the boundaries on something so significant [as gender]? That is the height of irresponsibility."
God's creation of two sexes is undeniable, Stith said, and is confirmed in both the Old and New Testaments.
"Certainly in a fallen world those lines can get blurred," said Stith, who has served the Southern Baptist Convention as national strategist for gender issues. "But the compassionate response is not to promote the blurring of the lines but to lovingly help our fallen culture to move back towards God's creative intent."
Mattel released its Creatable World line of dolls Wednesday, describing the six dolls in the series as gender-neutral and coupled with short and long wigs and male, female and gender-neutral attire. At play, children can dress the dolls as male, female or some combination of both, according to Mattel. The dolls debuted at $29.99 and are intended to allow "all kids to express themselves freely," Mattel said in a press release.
Stith noted, "This is especially tragic when many are starting children on drug therapy leading to sex change operations. For Christians the bottom line is what God says, not the culture."
Stanton made similar assessments.
"That's very concerning, because it makes those kids feel like what they believe they are is actually true," Stanton said. "The vast majority of kids that show gender dysphoria -- that they are 'non-binary,' which is just silly -- this kind of thing plays to their illusions, and they're dangerous illusions."
No research or science exists to validate that children suffer from gender dysphoria, Stanton said.
"It exists primarily as their own self-understanding," Stanton said. "Research is very clear that the majority, up to 98 percent, of 'gender-dysphoric' kids revert to their natal or natural sex by the time they hit puberty. … The research is just very clear on that point."
Other toys designed to appeal to assertions of gender neutrality have failed, Stanton said. The dolls are aptly named as "Creative World," he said.
"Gender theory that we are seeing today, it's just a creation. It doesn't exist in nature," he said. "They're a total creation. They're just simply made up by adults who want the world to be that way."
Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' general assignment writer/editor. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.