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Are We There Yet?

Posts tagged: or.

Is it a boy or girl?

Nobody knows – except the parents of “Pop,” a 2-year-old in Sweden whose parents refuse to reveal whether their child is a boy or girl.

Pop’s mom and dad decided to keep their child’s gender a secret because they believe gender is a social construction, according to a recent story published in The Local: Sweden’s News in English.

“We want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mould from the outset,” Pop’s mother told the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. “It’s cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead.”

 By doing this, their child won’t be subject to society’s tendency to stereotype based on gender, they said. According to The Local, Pop (not the child’s real name) wears both dresses and pants. Pop’s hairstyle also changes on a regular basis.

The family has received both positive and negative feedback. The Local interviewed Kristina Henkel, a gender equality consultant in Sweden, and she said Pop’s lack of gender-identity might be a good thing.

“Girls are told they are cute in their dresses, and boys are told they are cool with their car toys. But if you give them no gender they will be seen more as a human or not a stereotype as a boy or girl,” Henkel told The Local.

The Local also interviewed Susan Pinker, a psychologist, Canadian newspaper columnist and author of the book, “The Sexual Paradox.” “Child-rearing should not be about providing an opportunity to prove an ideological point, but about responding to each child’s needs as an individual,” Pinker told The Local.

What are your thoughts on this family’s decision? How do you think this experiment will affect Pop as he or she grows up? How long can a child remain “gender-free”?

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