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Gender-Neutral Parenting

OPB | June 6, 2011 9:06 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 10:11 p.m.

A Canadian couple is making international headlines with the birth of their newest child. The baby is healthy, and the  family seems happy, but a major part of the child’s life remains a mystery to all but a very few. And it’s a question most people take for granted: is the baby a boy or a girl?

Take your bets, because the couple’s not telling.

This is one of the latest — and one of the more extreme — examples of gender-neutral parenting.

Most broadly, gender-neutral parenting means that children, whether girls or boys, are raised in ways that don’t reinforce the stereotypes or preconceived notions that have traditionally defined gender roles. In a nutshell, the idea is that a child can ride this bike, that bike, or this one regardless of their sex.

If you’re a parent, how do you decide what clothes your kids wear, or what toys they play with, or what color the walls of their rooms are? Does your boy wear a dress to pre-school? Does your girl play with trucks? How do you navigate the questions and expectations of gender?

 

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