Should You Make Your Baby Gender-Neutral?
In today’s world, more and more people are advocating that we take a more gender-neutral approach to account for people who wish to identify themselves as the opposite gender. For instance, if you are born male and you wish to be identified as a woman, then that would change an entire viewpoint.
That being said, some countries have actually openly embraced this notion. In Sweden, for example, they’ve added the neutral pronoun ‘hen’ in their vocabulary. Kate Hudson has also announced that she’s going to have a gender-neutral approach, especially when it comes to raising her daughter.
We are often led to believe that blue is definitely a color mostly associated for males and pink is for females and if you are going to choose baby clothes, they have to come in colors that are ‘appropriate’ to the gender of your baby. Despite all of this, are you ready to embrace a more gender-neutral approach to raising your children?
Today, I am going to cover some of the most common questions being asked about this controversial topic.
What It Really Means?
Now, before anything else, you may have a question pertaining to what gender-neutral parenting actually is. As of the time of writing this article, there are three different approaches to this notion.
First is more of an extreme approach. An example of this is one family in Toronto, where their 3-year old child named Storm still doesn’t have its gender indicated on its birth certificate.
When asked about this, Storm’s parents said that they want to provide their child the freedom to choose whatever gender they want to choose when they grow up.
The more common approach to gender-neutral parenting is for parents to allow their boys to play with girl toys and vice versa. So, if their boys would love wearing tutus in school, then they would permit that. Conversely, if their daughter wants to go to a costume party wearing a spider-man outfit, then that is okay for them as well.
In other households, parents do not instill in their kids some gender stereotypes when it comes to doing household chores.
For instance, we are tied to this notion that men should mow the lawn and women should always do the dishes. In one Portland household, that is actually not the case. So long as their children are doing everything that is necessary to keep the house in tip-top condition, then that is okay.
Is This Considered Healthy?
Since this is one of the most highly confidential topics out there, there are bound to be people who are all-in on this and there are those that will oppose this notion.
For instance, Israel Martinez, a licensed clinical social worker, says that we always want to make life simpler and the only way to do that would be to set the gender early on in a child’s life. However, forcing them to become a girl or boy would be considered too limiting and Martinez argues that because of this, children may not be able to live a full and happy life.
However, Psychotherapist Fran Walfish argues that the gender of the child should always be set at a very early stage so that they will not grow up as confused individuals. Establishing their own identity early on, therefore, is imperative for clarity.