It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Raising gender-neutral or gender-specific kids.....Does it matter?

page: 1
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in


posted on May, 23 2011 @ 10:28 PM
When I was a little girl, I grew up with two brothers. I loved playing with dolls but also loved playing with their boy toys (cars, trucks, etc). I wore pink, but also wore blue. I got dirty when playing outside and I loved to be girly and smell good and play with mom's makeup too. However, my brothers played with boys stuff and and dressed and looked like boys. I do not think my parents would have put them in dresses or even pink. They really had no interest in playing with my girly toys and playing with makeup even though there was an abundant amount of it around. They were and still are very "boyish". Both situations, seem rather "normal" to me...and probably to most people. I assume.

While I understand that at some point some John Doe (or Jane Doe) decided - yes they just pulled it out of the air - that boys wear blue and girls wear pink...and this is just how it is....I'm not sure I quite understand the trend of raising "gender-neutral" kids.

What sparked this thinking was an article I read today. Here are some snippets of it (click to read the full article):

Parent's keep child's gender secret....

While there’s nothing ambiguous about Storm’s genitalia, they aren't telling anyone whether their third child is a boy or a girl.
“If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs,” says Stocker.
When Storm was born, the couple sent an email to friends and family: “We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...).”
“What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” says Stocker.

Jazz and Kio have picked out their own clothes in the boys and girls sections of stores since they were 18 months old. Just this week, Jazz unearthed a pink dress at Value Village, which he loves because it “really poofs out at the bottom. It feels so nice.” The boys decide whether to cut their hair or let it grow.
The moment a child’s sex is announced, so begins the parade of pink and barrage of blue. Tutus and toy trucks aren’t far behind. The couple says it only intensifies with age.

“In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!.” Witterick writes in an email.

There are so many more quotes I could add....but it is probably best to read the entire article. It is actually a very interesting read.

Anyways, I have some questions...and I'm curious what your opinions on it are. I really am still trying to form my own opinions and maybe reading other responses will help aide that....

What is wrong with embracing one's gender and raising a child to embrace it?

Is it screwing up the kid to raise them to believe that their gender does not matter?
In the article, an expert says:

Dr. Ken Zucker, considered a world expert on gender identity and head of the gender identity service for children at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, calls this a “social experiment of nurture.” The broader question, he says, is how much influence parents have on their kids. If Ehrensaft leans toward nature, Zucker puts more emphasis on nurture. Even when parents don’t make a choice, that’s still a choice, and one that can impact the children.

So does it matter?

It is a very confusing topic for me because I agree that some gender specific things are quite silly....I also find raising a child to not embrace their gender is quite silly too. At the same time I admit that I do tend to embrace gender specific roles. If I had a young son, I more than likely would dress him in boyish clothing and buy him boy toys, etc....
edit on May 23rd 2011 by greeneyedleo because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 10:38 PM
Strange how a tomboyish girl is seen as more acceptable than a girlish boy in most circles of society.

What a difficult and complicated topic I must say. I have taken psychology classes, and have learned about nature vs nurture.

How parents raise a child ABSOLUTELY affects who they become.

Fact is, nature programs (for the most part) males to be more masculine, and females to be more feminine. Kinda why those two qualities are called what they are called.

Regarding the article, I simply think it is a bad idea to knowingly make your male child mandatorily wear pink all the time and play with dolls. That is just kinda weird. If anything, if you have a male child, treat them as a male, and maybe teach them some feminine aspects, but don't overdo it.

But then again, it is your spawn, you can do what you like. But just think of how they will be treated at school if a male wears a dress to school...

Uber hard topic. Might have to get back to you on this one.

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 10:41 PM
I don't see a problem either way. I think people are born who they are and that is what they will be - - - if they are loved and allowed to just be. So - yes - nurture for sure - - - but I don't see a problem one way or the other in identifying their gender or not.

When someone asks me about raising children I always tell them: Raise them from the inside out.

Everyone has strength and weaknesses. Let them be who they are - - but encourage their strengths and find a way to off set their weaknesses.

My 3 year old grandson has trucks and dolls. His favorite color is pink. He hates his hands dirty and wants his shirt changed if he spills anything on it.

But as he gets older you can tell by his behavior - - - he's probably pretty much All Boy. There are no men in the house - - yet he is beginning to show male characteristics.

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 10:42 PM
A dress doesn't make you a girl, and a truck doesn't make you a boy.

As long as they don't push that their children MUST embrace being gender neutral, then I really don't care.

My son has put on dresses, and he'll still end up being an over 6 foot broad shouldered bull of a man and no frilly dress he put on is going to change that. My daughters pick out girly stuff DESPITE that I'm not that impressed with it. From a very early age. My opinion on their wanting to look girly wasn't particularly important to them.

I *could* refuse to participate - not buy them clothing that's gender obvious. I could freak out and scream my head off if they act out of gender. I could ABSOLUTELY frak them up, but I won't end up changing their essential nature.

Really, that won't make any difference except to make them maybe terrified for no reason.

Is my opinion what makes my son grow into a man? No. He'll end up being a man, because...he is who he is.
edit on 2011/5/23 by Aeons because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 10:50 PM
reply to post by greeneyedleo

I visited my sisters place and she encourages the girls to be independent and son to be kind but there was obvious self inclination toward gender bias as I sat and watched simultaneously her little girl put the cat in a dress and gently cradle it like a baby while her son delightedly and joyfully swung a bat wildly striking every available surface with mildly brutal fervor.

Kids are what they are.

There is very little you can say or do to change what they are or ultimately will become.

You can thwart and stall but you cannot change.

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 10:50 PM
reply to post by greeneyedleo

“In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!.” Witterick writes in an email.

These folks are weird IMHO. Discover him or herself
What he/she wants to be
Storms not an "it", but a boy/or girl,,,period. I get the whole "progressive" thing,,,but this is so "progressive" it waaayyy out there. I respect someones sexuality,,,actually who cares.But in this case its like these people want their children to lead "progressive" lifestyles,simply to say "Look at US,,were the most understanding and progressive parents in our cul de sac.
edit on 23-5-2011 by consigliere because: oops

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 10:55 PM
I think we are witnessing the next big serial killer develop right before our eyes.

Nazi doctors would have loved these parents. Doing experiments not even they would have done.

Progressive freaks.

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 10:58 PM
reply to post by greeneyedleo

This is quite a bit different since sexuality was forced upon this boy but still she should know about this famous case of a boy raised as a girl. There was a program on television a while back and put most of the blame on a psychiatrist who was doing experiments in the gender assignment field and talked the mother into trying to raise her son as girl after a botched circumcision.
Gender Gap - What were the real reasons behind David Reimer's suicide?

For Dr. Money, David was the ultimate experiment to prove that nurture, not nature, determines gender identity and sexual orientation—an experiment all the more irresistible because David was an identical twin. His brother, Brian, would provide the perfect matched control, a genetic clone raised as a boy.

Winnipeg man raised as a girl takes own life

His story was told by author John Colapinto, who wrote As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl. Reimer said it was important to raise the troubling issue of sexual reassignment -- a topic he brought to the Oprah Winfrey show.

The story of David Reimer
edit on 23-5-2011 by newcovenant because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 11:05 PM
These are just some thoughts im Im thinking out loud so to speak....

Clearly we all are gender specific. I am a female, some of you are males.
But how our genders are defined is not only how we were raised by how society defines it. As I mentioned earlier, society says: boys wear blue, girls wear pink. Boys play with trucks, girls play with dolls. But at the end of the day.....does that really matter? It reminds me of the rule of "dont wear a hat at the table". (for example) Someone just decided that was rude.....but what makes them right?

If parents raise a child to be gender-neutral in a soceity that says that is not normal, I can only imagine it would start to screw with their mind, their self esteem and so on. How does one even transition into society not embracing their gender.
And how does one explain the different body parts to a child raised gender-neutral.

I was reading another article and they said this (which I tend to agree with) Raising Children as Gender Neutral

I don’t think there is a problem in recognizing those differences. The problem occurs when we think that one sex is more important or more competent than the other

I think im having more questions the more I think about this.

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 11:33 PM
reply to post by newcovenant

Forcing someone to be what they are not is exactly the problem. Sometimes it'll work. And sometimes it won't.

Do you really think that children brought up to not think that their penis or vagina dictates their ENTIRE being is going to make them kill themselves? That boy was FORCED to be a gender he wasn't.

If his parents had instead not enforced any gender, and just let him grow up and choose his own way, with the effects of his botched operation maybe they'd have had a better result.

If these parents disallowed them to be who they are because they were very specifically drawn to a particular gender, particularly the one that is societal-normal THEN that would be a problem.

People seem so sure that boys are incapable of becoming men if they aren't beaten into the "right" path to maleness. Like being a male is such a fragile thing.

Do people REALLY think that becoming a male is somehow some greatly fragile process that can be disrupted at every turn!
edit on 2011/5/23 by Aeons because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 11:41 PM
Are we really just Boy or Girl? That doesn't seem to be the case.

My grandson at 3 was tested for being on the Autism Spectrum. One of the questions they asked him is: "Are you a Boy or a Girl".

I gotta say I was appalled. I found it offensive - and unnecessary that at age 3 - - it had anything to do with his world.

Do really young kids care what gender is? I don't think so. Its only seems to be an issue with adults and society.

Some Transgenders say they knew as young as 5 they were in the wrong gender body. There is now at least one camp/workshop for Transgender children.

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 11:48 PM
Genetics determine what you gender you will be at birth. Each person determines what gender they will mentally be. Society pressures people to fit into the roles assigned by their genetics, not by their mind. That is wrong. Luckily it is changing. Pansexualism is the road that humanity is heading down, and of the possible roads it is the best.

posted on May, 24 2011 @ 12:04 AM
Wouldn't it be better to respond to the child as a fully-fledged soul rather than a meat package (Is it pork? Is it beef?)

You have one job as a parent: To love that child unconditionally, no matter who they are. You do not get to decide whether they are not good enough to become a dentist or whether there is anyone good enough to share their lives. You don't get to decide anything at all, truth be told. You support them in *their* lives, in *their* endeavors. They are not you living your life by proxy because your parents didn't let you do this, that, or the other. You provide them with a safe haven for all life's twists and turns.

While you're doing all that, let them raise you. Let them show you who you are, who you can be, who you really are at heart. Chances are that if you're concerned with asserting your will over another in the guise of what you very erroneously perceive as love, but is really only your misguided will, you might actually get a glimpse of your own heart - probably for the first time since others began their campaign of asserting their will over you.

Proceed with Love.

posted on May, 24 2011 @ 12:06 AM

Originally posted by SG-17
Genetics determine what you gender you will be at birth. Each person determines what gender they will mentally be. Society pressures people to fit into the roles assigned by their genetics, not by their mind. That is wrong. Luckily it is changing. Pansexualism is the road that humanity is heading down, and of the possible roads it is the best.

Yes - Polyamory "marriages" are on the rise.

But - that's a whole different discussion.

posted on May, 24 2011 @ 12:11 AM

Originally posted by Annee

Originally posted by SG-17
Genetics determine what you gender you will be at birth. Each person determines what gender they will mentally be. Society pressures people to fit into the roles assigned by their genetics, not by their mind. That is wrong. Luckily it is changing. Pansexualism is the road that humanity is heading down, and of the possible roads it is the best.

Yes - Polyamory "marriages" are on the rise.

But - that's a whole different discussion.

Pansexualism ≠ Polyamory.

This is Pansexualism:

Pansexuality (also referred to as omnisexuality or polisexuality) is a sexual/affectional orientation characterized by a potential aesthetic attraction, romantic love and/or sexual desire for people of any biological sex or gender identity, including transsexual, transgendered, genderqueer and intersex people.

The concept of pansexuality deliberately rejects the gender binary, the idea that there are only two genders, as pansexual people are open to relationships with people who do not identify as strictly men or women.

Pansexuality is sometimes described as the capacity to love a person romantically irrespective of gender. Some people who are pansexual may assert that the concept of gender is meaningless to them.

posted on May, 24 2011 @ 12:13 AM
I have a four year old little girl who at times is very tomboysih and others a very girly girl. She absolutely loves to play with super hero toys and make believe she is the hulk or thor and "beat me up" as i always end up playing the bad guy lol. However on the other side of the specturm she loves tea parties and dressing up as a ballerina and accidently got into her moms make up and ended up looking like a member of the insane clown posse when she tried to put the make up on. My wife and I pretty much let her play with what ever toys she wants, we dont force her to play with dolls because she is a girl. She forces me to dress up for tea party though which i reluctantly do. One thing that caught my attention was when she was watching micky mouse, she saw minnie playing a nurse and goofy being a dr. She said she wants to be a nurse and i told her thats fine but you can be a dr too, she said no i cant im a girl goofy is a boy so he has to be the dr. I flat out told her that it does not matter that she is a girl she can do boys jobs if she wants. We are totally not raising her gender specific.

Side note: I seem to see alot of gender stereotyping in the cartoons that she likes to watch. For instance little einsteins the boy leo is the one who flys the ship, its never one of the girls. The micky mouse reference i made earlier i see that too alot where the girls are the nurses/assistants to the male counterparts of dr/leader. Do any other parents notice this or am i just reading too deep into some of the stuff.
edit on 24-5-2011 by lcbjr1979 because: additional info/ question

posted on May, 24 2011 @ 12:14 AM

Originally posted by SG-17
This is Pansexualism:

Yes I know what Pansexualism is.

Its very compatible with mixed gender group "marriages".
edit on 24-5-2011 by Annee because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 24 2011 @ 02:27 AM
Conditioning is a big part of society and you can condition anybody into doing and thinking anything. If you look at ancient Greek city states such as the Spartans and other city states who practiced different conditioning that were more drastic then todays.

Then you would see that yes! you can condition a male into being female like, and females into being male like. Even to the point that the males would prefer other males over natural females such as in a lot of the Spartans case, as in they had male lovers and usually a female which they had to spend some time with and impregnate once in a while. It was pretty much in the laws of the land, as to keep the spartan population up. But all that was more along the lines of life long conditioning or at least into teenage years and such that some of the ancient Greek city states practiced.

OK so I read about 70% of the op's link, till I couldn't take it no more it was just so boring and it has no points whatsoever other then other people don't know if it's a boy or girl and they ain't telling, but everybody in the family knows mom, dad, siblings, know but the kid and strangers don't. I mean what the hell is the point of doing that?

I really don't get what there trying to do or prove, I mean its a kid and it probably has either a penis or a vagina, so whats with all the mystery or keeping it secret the kid will not even have any idea until it grow up a little anyways what everybody is talking about anyways. And what kind of name is Storm, it sounds like he or she will grow up and join the X-Men. Not dissing the name I actually think its a cool name, but the whole story in the op along with the name of the kid says more about the parents then it does about the kid.

I think you should raise your kid to be whatever gender it is, after all its just a kid and he or she wont even know or be interested in one or the other till they are at least teenagers. So put some toys on the floor and let them play with whatever they chose, because lets face it genders are important and there for many reasons. But really all that this would do is probably just confuse the kid more and not give him or her a clear grasp when he or her reaches teenage years on what the genders are all about. It's like deliberately making him or her ignorant on a important subject that will matter latter on to him or her.

What are they trying to do? And for how long are they going to keep the kid in limbo about gender related issues? Such as what gender he or she is and what the genders are for? If its just while he or she is a kid and all that, then I really don't see the point, and it probably wont do much in terms of his or her's persona or life long issues with one or the other sexes, as the kid will not even grasp much of it till a little older. But if they go over the kid age such as they keep him or her in the dark into the ages of 9 and above then it would definitely effect him or her. And just bring confusion especially if the parents don't bother teaching what boys are and what girls are out there in the bigger picture as well as in the smaller picture. But I think he or she will figure it all out, when he or she looks between there legs and ask's, "what the hell is that weird looking thing?"

Besides if you all want gender neutral or genderless people I think eventually with each generation it will slowly come to that over time, after all conditioning is pretty powerful but what is conditioned can be unconditioned. But nature will always trump things when it comes down to it no matter the conditioning or what is in the way or what people think should or should not be. And eventually it will come down to something like that and genderless societies, and yes nature can go genderless it does not have to be male or female, it can be neither.
edit on 24-5-2011 by galadofwarthethird because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 24 2011 @ 04:53 AM

Originally posted by greeneyedleo
So does it matter?

Does it matter that the parents pulling off this stunt for attention? Yes.

Does it matter if parents accept a childs choice to be who they want to be? No it doesn't, infact I commend parents for doing so because it certainly is not easy raising a kid like that.

I frown at the fact the parents are keeping this kid "gender neutral" because by doing so, they are only enforcing societies rule that boys must be like this and girls like that. I don't see these parents as abusive in any way. Opportunistic parents, but not abusive. The parents choose to raise their kids like that, it's their business. Hey? Maybe the child will grow up to be hetereosexual like everybody else.

A boy is a boy, a girl is a girl. These are two different genders and the physical differences are obvious, it doesn't mean that boys MUST act like boys and girls MUST act like girls. Why put unnecessary pressure on kids? If my kid was like that, I would not allow him to just dress like that everywhere. He needs to dress a certain way for school or when we go out, but at home he can dress how he feels, provided he does his homework, house work, it's not my concern, and it's none of anybody elses business in regards to my parenting.
edit on 24-5-2011 by Southern Guardian because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 24 2011 @ 05:11 AM
reply to post by greeneyedleo

The guy is a moron.

“In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!.” Witterick writes in an email.

Discover for him/herselft what he/she wants to be?

How about the kid doesn't have a choice, because he is what he is. If you are born with a penis, you are a boy... that simple. No choice in the process.

A gay male, is still a male. A male can never become a female... You can pretend to be one... and even get surgery to look like one... but guess what, your DNA still is Male.

Not a choice. Teach him to be a boy, if he ends up being gay, teach him to be a gay boy... Seems pretty choiceless to me....

What they are doing, it appears any how, that they are trying to create a gay child. Intentionally. I think that is wrong... if some one is gay, that's fine... but don't create people to be any certain way... let them be what they are.... but at the same time, don't allow them to get confused about what they are....

I think this is key, here.

As a parent it's your responsibility to make choices for your child before it knows how to make them for itself. Starting it off saying, make all the choices you want, seems to be counter-productive....
edit on 24-5-2011 by Laokin because: (no reason given)

<<   2  3  4 >>

log in