Wednesday, 29 July 2009


I came across this article, albeit a while ago, but I found it very interesting.

It's about a Swedish couple who decided not to tell anyone about the gender of their child. They never use personal pronouns when referring to him or her.

I like the idea of not forcing a gender onto a child, however, it's going to be pretty easy to tell what gender the child is when she/he reaches puberty, and, in believing it so, the parents have made Pop's gender a serious issue.

In reality, being male or female is neither an advantage nor a hinderance if it is not treated as one. I definately support not forcing gender stereotypes, such as wearing neutral clothes and having neutral toys until the child can make their own decisions, but after a while I'm pretty sure they will want to associate themselves with a particular gender.

Another argument against this idea is the horrific example near the end of the article:

"Both Nordenström and Pinker refer to a controversial case from 1967 when a .circumcision left one of two twin brothers without a penis* Dr. John Money, who asserted that gender was learned rather than innate, convinced the parents to raise 'David' as 'Brenda' and the child had cosmetic genitalia reconstruction surgery. She was raised as a female, with girls’ clothes, games and codes of behaviour. The parents never told Brenda the secret until she was a teenager and rebelled against femininity. She then started receiving testosterone injections and underwent another genetic reconstruction process to become David again. David Reimer denounced the experiment as a crushing failure before committing suicide at the age of 38."

Gender is not the problem. Gender stereotypes are the problem, and it's entirely possible to prevent these stereotypes without screwing up your kids.

*I'm guessing no one said "when".

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