The United States government has a long history of protecting children from products and practices in society that can harm them. When a 1978 Federal Trade Commission report concluded that children under age seven do not possess the cognitive ability to evaluate child-oriented television advertising (a conclusion that the American Psychological Association reiterated in 2004), Congress began to consider legislation to give the FTC more regulatory power over advertising to children. But the tide began to turn on the possibility of the FTC’s playing a regulatory role when the entertainment and marketing industries launched a powerful lobbying effort in Congress against the new effort. This successful campaign not only stopped Congress from passing the new legislation, it also stripped the FTC of the limited powers it already had to oversee children’s advertising. Soon after that, another event occurred that made matters much worse. Until the mid-1980s, children’s television was regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. The regulations placed limitations on marketers’ access to children by specifying the number of advertising minutes allowed per hour during children’s programming. The FCC interpreted this limit to mean that when a corporation developed a children’s TV program with a line of toys and other products to accompany it, the whole show became a commercial and thereby violated the rule governing the number of minutes of advertising there could be per hour. But the floodgates truly opened with the FCC’s deregulation of children’s television during the Reagan administration in the mid-1980s, when pressure mounted to get government to deregulate all aspects of industry. Deregulation made it possible for marketers to develop products for children directly linked to children’s television programs. And the program-length commercial, a program made for the sole purpose of selling products, was born. More specifically, programs were now used to market toys to children that replicated everything they saw on the program....Different programs, and products linked with them, were developed for boys and for girls based on the presumption that boys and girls would be interested in different kinds of products...Go into any mass-market toy store and you will find that a large proportion of the toys on the shelves are linked to TV programs, movies, and video games. They are usually rigidly divided by gender to boot. As you walk down the aisles, you can tell just from the colors on the packages which aisles are for boys and which are for girls.
--from the otherwise very mediocre Levin and Kilbourne, So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids
It's fundamental to understanding politics in America that both parties represent a loose grab-bag of ideals that lack any real coherence. Pace Lakoff, who in Moral Politics, does try to connect the dots, but ends up singing his own rendition of My Favorite Things. Here's an example of that on the right, where the party of big-business and family values works at cross-purposes:
I was in Toys R Us at some point last year and I must say that this description is spot-on -- there was practically nothing there that was not associated with some media phenomenon or other, and it was all starkly divided by gender. And the sense of gender was very strict and narrow, and oriented towards growing up fast.