From my view I reckon it’s circular, what’s in the shops reflects what people buy. Its a neutral proposition, shops don’t care what they sell, as long as they do. Shops not the gatekeepers of little girls’ modesty (or not). And little pink frilly from frou things seem to sell for girls and truck/dinosaur/surf things seem to sell for boys (I’m talking KMart and Target and the like here).
Like anything, what drives the obvious very short hemlines for girls compared to boys is multifactorial. Parents buy what kids wear and what kids wear is influenced by peer pressure, and what is available and considered acceptable. That said, parental influence, at a societal scale, is undeniable. I have lost count at the number of times I’ve heard parents of boys saying “oooooh I don’t want him wearing pink”, “my boys aren’t going to the school disco because the theme is glitter…” and this is from people living in inner west Sydney, Postgraduate educated people in Middle management white collar jobs 🤷♀️
What i don’t understand, is the short short and small crop tops for girls at little athletics. Sure, they can choose to wear the “boys” uniform consisting of a tank top and longer shorts, but very vast majority don’t. Why?