Victorian councils could ban books and toys from kindergartens, schools and libraries if they don’t meet strict gender guidelines, according to reports.

The Herald Sun on Monday revealed Manningham and Melbourne City Councils are among those auditing children’s books and urging a ban on the terms “boy” and “girl”.

It follows research from the Australian National University that showed children were influenced by gender stereotyping.

The research suggests educators should “minimise the extent to which gender is labelled” and avoid telling children what girls and boys should do.

Parents reacted angrily to the story on social media.

“For goodness sake, this is social engineering gone crazy,” Marie Hardwick wrote on a post by state Liberal MP Tim Smith. “Leave kids alone to be kids. Stop trying to destroy kids’ childhoods.”

Sarah Lovejoy took to Sunrise’s Facebook page after it was debated on the program this morning.

“This needs to stop. I’ve got a two-year-old daughter (yes I picked her gender based on what genitals she was born with) and she plays with cars, trains, tractors, Barbies, dolls and uses her imagination and pretends she’s cooking food or being a doctor. Let’s just let kids be kids.”

– Rohan Smith

Read more: Victorian Councils Auditing Children’s Books For Gender

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