Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

I have a friend...

kgould's picture

...that wants to raise her children as gender-neutral. Rather than assign them gender from birth, she wants to allow them to develop on their own and make their own decisions regarding their identity. 

We approached her plan with skepticism--the same level of skepticism we saw in class when the same course of action was suggested for us. Would that really make a difference?

Because it's not entirely about an individual's upbringing. It's also about the culture we live in. A child is going to be as much influenced by the society and social environment around them as they are influenced by how they are raised by their parents. 

It almost seems like gender has become a dirty word.

Do we have to abolish gender in order to create the change we want to see in the system?...



Amophrast's picture

Kinda related to

Kinda related to this:

A mom writes about her son going dressed up as Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween to his preschool (which is run by a church). Basically, the poster writes that her son really wanted to dress up as Daphne for Halloween but closer to the day, got nervous about what people would say about him. As it turns out, his friends seemed to think it was pretty cool and the only people who were actually judging him were the parents of the other kids.

My kids will learn from me as other kids will learn from their parents. I think that's the only thing I'm worried about. I've read articles about other parents who said they let their boys play with "whatever toys they wanted to" and they just happened to be more interested in toys directed more towards males (trucks, hot wheels, etc). Of course, they were shaped by outside influences other than their parents. When I was younger, I don't think I was so much of a "tomboy" as I was a little girl with two older brothers who thought everything they had and did was really really cool.

It would be interesting to raise children and see how they will choose things depending on how their PERSONALITY or PERSONAL TASTES develop rather than some implied set of gender norms.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
11 + 4 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.