Check out pages 66 and 67 of the Toys R Us “Great Big Christmas Book.” These two pages contain pictures of ride on vehicles. Of the four pictures showing a girl and boy riding in a car together, all four show the boy driving and the girl sitting passively.
I decided to start Googling around the Internet to see if this was exceptional or common. Well, it’s so common that I was not able to find a single picture for a motorized ride on vehicle ad from any company in which the girl is driving the boy. Take for example the Mighty Wheelz 12V Ride-on Vehicle Item # 486842 found on a Costco ad.
I don’t know who created these pictures and I also certainly don’t know their intent. Did the creators of these ads just miss the fact that girls were always passengers or did they factor in the fact that fathers (who probably are more interested in buying vehicles for kids than moms) might be put off by the depiction of a girl driving a boy? Whatever the reason, it seems like an odd carry over from the days when women were suspect behind the wheel (remember the tag; "Woman Driver?").
If you have a minute, do some research and let me know if you find ads in which the girl is driving a boy. Also, it would be great to hear from those who make the ads so that we can get their perspective.