Swedish Parents Keep Their Child`s Gender Secret

Submitted by: pui 7 years ago in
http://www.thelocal.se/20232/20090623/

Is gender a social construct? What do you think I-A-B?
There are 159 comments:
Female 5,222
Hmm Id like to see how this child acts as he/she grows older.
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Male 9
I think the biggest misconception is that, we say the child will «choose» its gender. First of all, gender is a social construct, it cannot be chosen; society choses it. second, the child will not choose its sex. But most importantly, gender is not an isolated concept; it is constructed on sex, which is hormonal, biological. Thus, the hormones in Pops body and brain, felt as urges and drives, will«chose» the «gender» in fonction to its sex. Feminists still fail to see, that gender can only exist if sex differences exist. At point «0», no cultural criteria can reproduce society biologically. If there was only «gender» reality (feminist theory), a man and a woman on a stranded island would never find out their sexual link and procreating potential, which is hard to accept. There are differences between men and woman which is not a construct but a biologival structure for survival
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Female 10
same thing happened in Finland, read about it last year... the child is called Ru if I remember right. wonder how they`re getting along nowadays.
also, the parents aren`t called mom and dad, they`re the fox and the wolf. they don`t want the child even know about genders.
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Female 261
This will only work until Pop needs to use a public restroom. Then, the secret`s out.
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Female 267
Kimikio: No they won`t. That`s exactly what they`re trying to avoid. I don`t get why this is even a minor deal. Who cares? They`re not treating the baby like an experiment, leave them alone.
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Female 275
I`m sure Pop will be fine, s/he knows what they are, it`s just everyone else who doesn`t.
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Female 18
Joolin:Sex refers to those characteristics which are biologically determined. Gender refers to those characteristics which are taught through socialization and prescribed to by an individual. Gender and sex are two totally different terms. Be wary of calling people dumb when you are ignorant about those big words you`re using.
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Male 18
WHO THE JOLLY-HELL GIVES A DAMN?!
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Female 876
i think it`s a boy. pop reminds me popeye xp
and that child`s gonna have some serious identity issues later on the life
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Male 205
I do think that its an interesting way of raising Pop, but I fear what will become of Pop when the other children are discouraged from playing with xem.
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Male 1,002
Social construct?! No, actually gender is pretty thoroughly established before you`re even born. I guess I can see where there could be some confusion though, if you never figured out the function of that stuff between your legs. Don`t fault them, it`s an honest mistake. They`re just really, really dumb.
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Female 1,623
I support them, and I have my own personal reasons; but I think the world`s not ready for this concept yet, I really hope Pop will grow up to be a more liberal, open-minded person, regardless of gender.
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Female 999
That poor baby! Could you imagine how he/she will feel when it (for lack of a better pronoun) grows up? Being your parents experiment?

There`s a car in my town that has a bumper sticker which says: "If you`re feeling attacked by feminism, it`s probably a counter-attack"
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Male 235
This is going to be ONE SCREWED UP KID! GUARANTEED!
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Male 39,913
if the parents are stupid enough to do this, then what other lame a$$ uber-liberal feminazi crap are they force feeding this kid?

the child has no hope
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Male 1,106
Dumbasses. I have two boys then a girl. I treated the girl just like the boys and she only had toys the boys played with. Yet the first time she saw a stuffed animal she about peed herself with excitement. Boys are boys. Girls are girls.
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Male 60
I really can`t see a problem with this for the moment. When (if?) the child starts to express a preference of one gender role over the other, then that will be the time for the parents to stop. But until that happens, then it is fine.

Personally, I think it a shame that parents don`t let children explore both typical `gender roles`. After all, it wasn`t all that long ago when it was the norm for boys to wear pink and girls blue. Conclusive proof really that gender roles are defined entirely by how the child is treated from the word go.

I give my full support to these parents.
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Male 715
What a shame. Life is hard enough without adding extra BS to the mix. This is major over protective parenting.
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Female 8,051
Mmm- there is a difference, inate, natural- I think the child will be treated more evenly at first. But the problem is with societal stereotyping, the child cannot be immunised from that- it will know how men and women are `supposed` to behave, and once gender aware may project that onto itself. This may well mean that if a boy, it will worry it is too feminine, or vice-versa.
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Female 126
That is the most retarded crap in the world. Just let the kid be a kid.

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Female 4,039
What happens when public restrooms enter the picture? Maybe Pop will wear diapers forever.
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Female 67
I read a story like this last semester where the child actually started school and adapted well with their classmates. It was the parents that threw a fit. Sometimes I think adults get so caught up in what it means to be male or female that anything outside of that is wrong. That is what really disturbs me...Many of the family flat out refused to even associate with the child because they didn`t know how to act around it unless they knew the sex. That should tell you something right there.
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Male 734
Believe it or not, there actually IS a difference between men and women. I know that`s a huge shocker for some but guess what, there is. These two idiots deserve the "Worst Parent of the Year Award".

Goddamn hippies.
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Male 4,546
I occasionally used to play with dolls, prams(strollers), barbies, high heels, along side He-Man, thundercats, ninja turtle figures, guns, etc.

Nobody really gave a poo, and if anyone did, I didn`t. I still don`t.

I disagree with these parents however.
That should indicate that you`ve missed something if all we were discussing was "Should they let their boy wear a skirt".
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Female 231
But, what I said is my own opinion and I am not in the mood to argue about it with people that would not want to understand- no matter how I will try to explain it. I have given up on people today, I am sad to say.
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Female 231
This all sounds good to me. Granted, I would not have a child JUST to make an example out of them. That is cruel.

But, what is wrong with letting your child make those decisions themselves? Why can`t your boy choose to wear a dress for the day? And why can`t your Daughter dress like a boy for the day?
I try my best to allow my children to grow up in an environment that is not restricting to anything such as Sex, race, or religion. And I am not going to force anything on them because I want them to be happy and to enjoy life the way they want later on, whether they wish to be Catholic, Mormon, Pagan, Male, or Female.
Stereotyping is wrong, I know this as a blond and a female (And, as far as I know, I am neither dumb, a "party girl", or completely useless.) and I know my children will have to deal with stereotypes in their lives. But I would rather warn them instead of forcing them into said stereotypes and I would like to encourage them to be how they wi
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Male 4,546
Basically, I want words to have meaning, otherwise there is no point in using them.

Do the words male and female have meaning?
If so, great, what are they?
If no, great, stop using them.
If they don`t have a meaning then using them in a sentence conveys no more information that screaming random syllables, drawing the prince symbol, and juggling a potato and a spice rack.
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Male 4,546
I understand there is a difference between sex (physical) and gender (psychological), but that doesn`t isolate them from one another.

You`re still using the words male and female. Why? In gender, those words, apparently have no meaning whatsoever.

Would you give the same level of thought to people who identified "Rhino", or "Truck Driver", or "Wizard", or "Indonesian"?

Is it based just on stereotypes? What if I like spicy food? Does that make me Indian? What if I really like the culture? Indian now?

What if I really wish I could cast spells? Wizard?

What if I feel like I should have a horn? Rhino?

I don`t understand what is trying to be conveyed here.
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Female 122
How does not assigning a gender to a child allow them to grow up without the "restraints" of being a male or female? All it does is confuse the child. Alienating a baby doesn`t make them a better person regardless of your adult motivation. If you have a sensitive or emotional child who goes to school where everyone is talking about them and probing them with personal questions about their sexuality, isn`t that a little cruel?

As a human being, I know I wouldn`t want articles written and published having to deal with my infant genitalia. The parents are trying to make a social statement at the potential cost of something that, to them, should be far greater than society, their own child.

Why can`t the parents just teach the child to respect all sexes and allow him to play with whatever toys he might fancy and wear whatever clothes he likes. Not assigning a sex feels like they are calling their baby an "it". Pop is a baby not an experiment.
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Male 4,546
It just seems like it is saying "I want to be X", where X is something they don`t believe in.

X = Y. Male = Female.
X > Y. I want to be X.

These two statements cannot coexist.

Lets make the example more extreme.
You are a human, you identify as a rhino.
You argue species have no meaning and are just social constructs.

So, there`s no such things as "Rhinos" we`re all just "Animals" full stop.

How do you want to be a "Rhino" if you cannot isolate it from the general hodgepodge of "Animals". How can you point and go "I want to be that"? Why is "that" a rhino, and not a monkey, or a cheetah?

Similarly, aren`t you pointing at men, saying "I want to be that"? How does that make any sense when really, you shouldn`t be able to know what you`re pointing at?
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Male 639
@togoth

I agree to a degree. Some things can`t be changed and we have to just live with it. However if someone getting surgery to change their gender will make them happy, why not? We all only live once. If we can make ourselves happier, surely we should.
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Male 296
Wow. This is just sick. Not the fact that the parents are hiding the sex from everybody, in the sense that it will mess him/her up later on in life or whatever, (well that`s a different argument), but the fact that these parents basically had a kid to make an example of and to basically get attention. You shouldn`t turn your child into an experiment without knowing the full consequences of the risks involved. Hell, you shouldn`t turn your child into an experiment to begin with. But the only reason these parents are doing this is to get attention.
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Male 129
for me gender change is just like throwing your toys out the pram. some guy grows up and tries to become a singer but genetically he cant sing to save his life.

this guy doesnt under drastic surgery to change this he just puts up for it and sings anyway, why cant these gender confused people do the same.

so you wish you were a girl but you got a penis instead of vagina ? well tough luck, i want to be king but that aint happeing, just keeping do girly things and were dresses and poo but theirs no need to go messing with downstair.

alot of people wont like that but im just saying, this isnt nessercarily my oppinion.
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Male 129
i watched a thing on something like this in the US when the kids penis had been burnt off and they decided to hide that he was male. she found out when she was 14 became a he and killed himself a few years later. (and so did his brother.) basicaly messing around with stuff like this at such a young age is bad news...
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Female 1,101
OK... but you still haven`t answered my question.

Why would a person believe that they are male as opposed to female in sex without relying on gender to support their arguement?

Do they just believe they should have a different chromosone? Do they just believe that they should have a penis or a vagina? Why? Based on what? What connotations do they have with penis or vagina that they believe they should have one and not the other?
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Male 12,365
[quote]For example, I watched a show where FTM transexual said she knew her sex was really a male because she hated dresses and liked to play with trucks, but that relies on gender constructs to say that she is a male which doesn`t make any sense. She could be a girl who hated dresses and liked to play with trucks! So why change your sex based on gender constructs? [/quote]

That I agree with.

My take on it would be that the person you refer to was talking rubbish because they`re not able to convey their thoughts and feelings accurately.

So I was wrong to think you were making those mistakes - you were referring to some other people who are making them.

My sister used to play with cars when she was a kid and I think she has never worn a dress. I certainly don`t recall ever seeing her in one. She also climbed trees, rode bikes recklessly and suchlike. Nothing to do with her sex and she`s fine being a woman.
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Female 1,101
No, I understand the difference between sex and gender. Sex is determined by chromosones and secondary sexual characteristics (testosterone, estrogen) while gender is (according to the "Queer" community) a social construct.

So my question is how a "transexed" person can say that they are inatley male or female in sex without using gender constructs to justify their feelings?

For example, I watched a show where FTM transexual said she knew her sex was really a male because she hated dresses and liked to play with trucks, but that relies on gender constructs to say that she is a male which doesn`t make any sense. She could be a girl who hated dresses and liked to play with trucks! So why change your sex based on gender constructs?
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Male 12,365
[quote]Well my point is, aren`t you saying that gender doesn`t exist? At which point we are only left with sex?[/quote]

I was replying to NotTHATbored stating a false predicate in their argument, not stating my own view.

And no, I am not saying that gender doesn`t exist. I`m saying that it isn`t sex and it isn`t innate and it isn`t absolute and it is at least mostly socially constructed.
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Male 4,546
"That sex is gender".

Well my point is, aren`t you saying that gender doesn`t exist? At which point we are only left with sex?
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Male 12,365
[quote]If according to the "Queer" community men and women are born the same and "gender" does not truely exist except for as a social construct, why would anyone believe they are inately one and not the other? Why bother to alter your genitals? Doesn`t make sense to me.[/quote]

It doesn`t make sense because two of your predicates are wrong:

i) That people live entirely unaffected by the society they live in.

ii) That sex is gender.
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Male 12,365
[quote]There is also the minor detail that since the 20s more women have gone to university than men.[/quote]

I went back 200 years to make sure I avoided that. And also because Mary Somerville rocked. She should be more famous. Mathematician, physicist, botanist, polyglot...with a sideline as a decent pianist. She was famous in her own lifetime.

[quote]This is 2 generations of promoting female only education, including changing the British system to accommodate women.

Now that men are underperforming for the first time (starting in the late 80s), it is not being used as "Men are unempowered" as it was when women were underperforming in the thousand years prior. It is "Look, men are inferior".[/quote]

Bigots are usually also hypocrites. Feminists doubly so, as they usually also claim their favoured sexism is sexual equality. I have some respect for the honestly bigoted ones, scum though they are.
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Female 1,101
Wow, for once I agree w/ you Baalthazag (probably the first and last time ever).

If according to the "Queer" community men and women are born the same and "gender" does not truely exist except for as a social construct, why would anyone believe they are inately one and not the other? Why bother to alter your genitals? Doesn`t make sense to me.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Does being male have a meaning? If so, what exactly is that meaning.[/quote]

It`s clearer if you define sex in biological terms, but even then there`s a fair bit of grey area.

Some people are born not fitting neatly into either sex in terms of any biological definitions. This might not be obvious (e.g. female people with an XY chromosome pair) or it might be obvious (e.g. genuine hermaphroditism).

Some people may show the difficulties with definitions later. For example, the primary sexual organs in men are the testicles. So what if a man is later castrated (assault, accident, necessary surgery...the reason doesn`t matter)? Does he stop being a man? What if he takes hormone supplements to maintain a normal hormone mix for a man?

But in almost all cases, defining sex biologically works.

What doesn`t work is taking other things and strongly attaching them to a sex. At best, that`s going to coerce people into conforming.
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Male 12,365
[quote]those social constructions are there for a reason.[/quote]

Some of them make sense in a sparsely populated semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer society. Few people have lived like that in the last 10,000 years.

The rest are largely a matter of fashion, changed often and completely meaningless. Pink in his country, for example. Very masculine not so long ago, extremely feminine after that, becoming significantly less feminine day by day. Or short dresses...very masculine in ancient Rome. Even nowadays...don`t tell a Scotsman in tradition dress that it`s feminine because it has a skirt. That wouldn`t go down well.

So...obsolete or trivial and ever-changing. Either way, irrelevant.
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Male 4,546
Also, I have a question.

Some people might get mad at me for it, but it is genuine.

Lets say you have a vagina.
You make the argument that this means nothing, and get angry when people call you female.

You want to be male.

What does that mean? What does male actually mean here? You want to be X, not Y, but simultaneously get angry at people who use the words X and Y?

Either there is no such thing as male or female, or you want to be male, or you want to be female, or you are male, or you are female.

No more than 3 of these can work in any given situation.

Does being male have a meaning? If so, what exactly is that meaning.
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Male 4,546
Agillion. There is also the minor detail that since the 20s more women have gone to university than men. This is 2 generations of promoting female only education, including changing the British system to accommodate women.

Now that men are underperforming for the first time (starting in the late 80s), it is not being used as "Men are unempowered" as it was when women were underperforming in the thousand years prior. It is "Look, men are inferior".

Also, welcome back, not seen you in a while.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Gender roles are not a social construction. boys play with trucks and girls prefer barbi. A few exceptions and there`s always that gay kid down the street, but there definate gender behaviors.[/quote]

There might (or might not) be some innate *tendencies* towards gendered behaviour, but that`s as far as anyone can tell. By the time anyone is old enough to play with trucks or dolls, they will already have been very strongly trained to conform to whatever the current gendered roles are in the society they are growing up in.

Consider how normal this scenario is:

A: X has had a baby.
B: What did she have?

Not only is it normal to consider a person`s sex the very first thing to ask about them, but that question assumes that a person is wholly defined as their sex. Right from birth. With modern scans, even before they`re born.

Normal people can`t even think about a person unless they know what sex they are and what gendered ideas
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Male 12,365
[quote]feminism
noun
the advocacy of women`s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

sounds like feminism is specific to women to me. what would be more accurate is to say its an "equalitist" philosophy. but thats not a word.[/quote]

That would not be more accurate because inequality is innate in feminism. It is specific to female people. It therefore cannot be sexual equality. Feminism requires defining and judging people by their sex as a first step, usually done so deeply that it`s done without conscious thought. You can`t be about female people unless you define people as female or other and judge only female people as being worthy of your consideration on a social and political scale. That`s the *least* sexist strains of feminism. Feminism includes any and all degrees of antimale sexism, right the way up to psychotic misandry.
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Male 12,365
Maybe `infant` would have been a better word in that last post. I`m talking about very young children.
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Male 12,365
[quote]poo, do guys and girls really even act that differently? i dont think so.[/quote]

At 2? Not that I`ve seen.

This experiment has been repeated several times:

Get some adult volunteers to take part in a study on young children. Make up some plausible lies about what aspect of the children you`re studying.

They`re lies because you`re actually studying the adults, but they can`t know that (usual double blind stuff).

The trick is that you`re sometimes lying about the sex of the child, but the adults don`t know that. You can`t reliably tell the sex of a young child from their face and hands (the children are, of course, dressed), so they`ll just unthinkingly go with whatever sex you lead them to believe.

Almost without exception, the adults behave very differently depending on what sex they think the child is. Even with the same child at a different time with the adult led to believe they`re a different child of the other sex.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Nope. Feminism is about empowering all those gropus that are rejected for not being male in the patriarchal definition.[/quote]

That statement bears no resemblence to reality.

I used to be a feminist. I have read millions of words of feminist material spanning more than a century. I`ve spoken with hundreds of feminists. I`m not making this stuff up.

Feminism is just another biological group advocacy ideology. Every strain of feminism, from those so moderate that mainstream feminists think they`re not feminism at all right the way up to the "final solution to the male problem" extreme.

Random example: A study in the UK designed to show that women`s health was underfunded found instead that 8 times as much was spent on women than on men. It was ignored and all feminist healthcare remained SOLELY about female people and boys too young to be obviously male. As is all feminist everything on every issue.
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Male 663
poo, do guys and girls really even act that differently? i dont think so.
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Male 663
" A person should not be attracted to another just because they have long hair, or wear skirts, or have breasts, or testosterone in their blood and a penis."

I dont know what you`re talking about man. You can`t have sex with someones personality, whether you`re straight or gay.
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Male 663
im so confused by the comments...
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Female 1,101
Maybe Pop is a hermaphrodite?

And yes, gender is a social construct, but sex is not! You are either male or female, and in rare cases both. And it doesn`t matter what you "feel like" or you "want to be" your sex is your sex even if it doesn`t fit your idea of what your "gender" is. Period.

I can see how they don`t want people to treat Pop differently based on what Pop is, but really that is only going to work for so long. Why not teach him/her to not worry about how people react to its gender instead of teaching him/her to hide it?
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Male 134
Almost definite it`s a male.
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Male 91
bull. poo.
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Female 351
I`m an anthropologist. This is a big topic in cultural anthropology! The whole sex versus gender ordeal.
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Female 612
This is ridiculous. Men and women are different. That is a fact. We are not innately unequal, of course, but trying to make us be the same is *not* going to make things better. If he/she is a boy and wants to play with dolls, fine. But don`t force him/her to be both genders just as a social experiment. That`s not going to change anything and will just make some people dislike feminists even more. Raise him/her to be whatever gender he/she is but be *proud* of that and comfortable in that and show everyone how incorrect gender stereotypes are. Such individuals have made great strides in the past and will continue to do so (the first women doctors/astronauts, etc.). It`s just like race, really. People will judge based on it now, yes, but we are so much closer to equality than ever before, and people being genderless really isn`t going to help in the long run.
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Male 40,751
vv What @catbarf says. It`s been done before, that "person" lived in Winnipeg for many years. It was a FLAT-OUT FAIL on every count. The `person` eventually committed suicide. Wrote a book though, iirc...
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Female 2,674
You can raise your child to have both female and male aspects (i.e. buying your son a kitchen playset and dollies, and buying your daughter trucks, I have many friends who do these things) without ignoring their gender. Gender is more than simply what`s under the diaper/pants and it`s really doing the kid an injustice.
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Male 551
@Igmo
Long hair on girls is a big sexist issue,
same on boys, is a demonstration of being
against the authority and it has sexual
connotation as well

Yup, maybe we "Shouldn`t" have expectations
towards anybody from any sex, but the truth
is that we ARE, and that`s not open for debate
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Male 228
I would just assume it must be a girl. There wouldn`t be any point to hiding it if she were a boy, since being a guy is just awesome.

Poor girl, she`s in for a shock :(
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Male 1,505
"Feminism rejects patriarchy, not men"

Maybe true in an academic sense, but mainstream feminism hates any man that refuses to hate himself for being born with a dick.
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Male 1,263
*and so forth)

These parents are bringing their child to learn that all of us are souls, not "man` or "woman".
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Male 1,263
@Volsunga

No, not necessarily. The parents are doing this child a favor. In our society, human beings are either one or the other; male or female, based upon the perceptions and interactions of other people (as gori99 mentioned below). It allows the child to be their true selves, and can prevent psychological and social issues. An example of this, though I don`t agree with the term `disorder`, would be Gender Identity Disorder. This is the diagnosis that most, if not all, transgender people are given by their doctors, and these individuals go through all types of mental anguish, including suicidal thoughts, throughout most of their lives, but especially their childhood.

The "expectations" from other people of the gender binary are exactly what these parents are standing up against. A person should not be attracted to another just because they have long hair, or wear skirts, or have breasts, or testosterone in their blood and a penis. (or lack thereof and s
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Male 1,455
I don`t see this ending well. Gender roles may force children into certain societal standards, but they also help. Genders are not interchangeable, and there are real mental differences between men and women that cannot simply be ignored. Gender roles allow children to develop traits that better fit their sex.
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Male 551
@gorl99

Actually no. As I said before, the sexual
division of labour is here since the first
humans appeared on earth, and has nothing
to do with "Education" is has EVERYTHING to
do with psychical characteristics

Mainly the ability to give birth...
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Female 10
@rainbowfarts

yes, cause the gender norms and social construct of the historical past, where it was though that women were incapable of learning and being educated in academics was absolutely right and was there for a good reason which we should not challenge it and just accept it
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Female 798
those social constructions are there for a reason.
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Female 10
part 2

...without being told "you can`t do that because its not ladylike/manly". There would be no restrictions on the kid as to if he/she wants to be a dancer or a truck driver.
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Female 10
To all those people who don`t know the difference between gender and sex here are some definitions.

Sex - anatomical, chromosomal and hormonal features that typically make one male or female

Gender - feelings, attitudes typically associated with being male or female
- attitudes about ones sex is a social construct and it is decided by society and its norms
-and gender changes all the time; take the example Angillion gave

Gender identity - one’s sense of belonging to a particular sex biologically, psychologically and socially.

Gender roles are taught though socialization from birth. In studies it has been shown that little boys are just as likely to play with a doll as they would play with a truck, if they are not told "boys should play with trucks, not dolls". I guess what I`m saying is that this is an interesting idea, having a kid grow up with the freedom of doing what he/she wants without being told "you can`t do that
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Male 1,547
so... no matter which gender the kid turns out to be, he/she will be socially unable to meet the expectations of any potential boyfriend/girlfriend, even if he/she is homosexual.
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Male 237
Holy hell.

All of you WOULD be into this.
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Female 467
dats drated up. :O

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Male 39,913
stupid parents

Gender roles are not a social construction. boys play with trucks and girls prefer barbi. A few exceptions and there`s always that gay kid down the street, but there definate gender behaviors.
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Female 30
(2/2) instead of being called a "freak" by idiots who would refuse to acknowledge the validity of ANY gender identity the kid displayed if they knew the kid was born inter-sexed.
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Female 30
It occurs to me that Pop`s parents may not be flakes or attention whores. They may honestly not KNOW whether Pop is a boy or a girl.

Everyone here is assuming that Pop is either a boy or a girl, but about 1 in every 1000 children is born with ambiguous genitalia. It used to be that if the doctors weren`t sure they`d just chop off the "unnecessary bits" and call the kid a girl, but years down the line they started realizing that a fair number of these "girls" really wanted a penis as adults. So you are the parents of a baby with some really odd parts, you`re not sure which ones they`ll want later, and you don`t want to push the kid in the wrong direction. At the same time, when someone asks "boy/girl?" you don`t want to say "dunno yet" because it`s none of their business. So you say "social experiment" until the kid gives some indication of what gender they feel they are, and the kid gets sympathy for having flaky parents i
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Female 1,427
I don`t see the big deal; this just assures that the kid won`t get pre-conceived stereotypes about their gender until they`re old enough to understand it.

I think it`s stupid that boys, from a little age, are raised to be "strong" and "cool" while women are raised to be "beautiful" and "sensitive."

If no one knows whether Pop`s physically a boy or girl, and it`s up to Pop to decide whether they want to dress one way or another, then no one can influence Pop`s gender but Pop.

Sex is what`s in between your legs; gender`s what`s in between your ears. Gender is an entirely mental construct while sex isn`t.
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Male 716
It will be interesting how this turns out. It may very well be good.

It`s not like "Pop" is fighting their gender to stay different, they`re just being nuetral.
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Male 8
Gender definitely is not a social construction - its a physical justification of what reproductive organs you happen to have.

However, gender roles, as well as sexuality are the epitome of social construction.

I think it will be pretty damn interesting to see how this kid grows up, as it is almost impossible not to be influenced by society and social constructions.

will the parents gratuitous attempt at anti-conformism/jab at social constructions just screw this kid up?

Yeah, it will.
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Female 1,380
@madest
Footnote: Pop is not the child`s real name but is the name used in Svenska Dagbladet`s interview with the child`s parents from March 6th.
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Male 914
this is child abuse in my opinion
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Male 527
It`ll be interesting to see how much this kid will have to spend in therapy bills in 15 years or so.
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Male 17,511
All they are doing is confusing this kid and it will eventually ostracize him/her from the rest of it`s peers.
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Male 606
Ohhh! Sorry. It`s a girl... And obviously so is the husband.
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Male 1
feminism
noun
the advocacy of women`s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.


sounds like feminism is specific to women to me. what would be more accurate is to say its an "equalitist" philosophy. but thats not a word.

oh. and its a stupid idea to not reveal a kids gender...sounds like a moderately interesting idea, but all 2-2.5 year olds are curious and "confident" when the kid gets to school and wears a dress one day and a pair of jeans and a t shirt the next theres gonna be some commotion...
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Male 606
Oh for chrissakes. If it has a wee-wee, its a boy, if it has a woo-hoo, its a girl! sex is decided before we`re born, and we can`t 100% change that. I don`t think the parents have the right to use their child as a guinea pig like this.
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Female 248
Madest: they are in Sweden, I really doubt they have the exact same words meaning the exact same things as we do.
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Male 152
i think the baby will grow up to be a great crack whore, regardless of its gender
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Female 1,264
Gender is a combination of sex and expectations towards that sex. That is why gender can be as vague as we want it to be. As we change our ideas on social roles, gender becomes more and more vage. I hope we keep doing it, and one day what will matter are our capacities and not genitalia.
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Female 1,264
@Angilion
"ii) It`s not a feminist philosophy because they`re not acting in a sex-specific way. Feminism is about female people"

Nope. Feminism is about empowering all those gropus that are rejected for not being male in the patriarchal definition. Women, children, the elderly, homosexuals, transgenders, and non-traditional men are rejected because they are not men. Feminism rejects patriarchy, not men.
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Male 5,189
Interesting comments.
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Female 1,604
I don`t find it bad, it`s weird and I think what they think this is going to accomplish is wrong.
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Male 12,365
IAB borked on that link, so here it is again:

Mary Somerville
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Male 12,365
[quote">the kid has to learn to fit in with society and that means learning the difference between boy and girl.[/quote">

The article clearly states they already know that to an extent suitable for their age.

That is not the same as conforming to sexed social restrictions and requirements, i.e. gender. Gender and sex are two different things.

200 years ago in England (and elsewhere), maths was very strongly gendered. Amongst people wealthy enough to educate their children, it was widely believed that studying maths was dangerous for women and even more so for girls. So few women knew much maths. It was commonly assumed that this was a natural, innate sexed difference, i.e. like some people are talking about in this thread.

I`m glad some people went against the idea that gendered things are sexed and innate. Consider a bit of a hero of mine, the brilliant polymath
Female 248
Good for Pop! Zie will grow up to be an unique human, not specifically male or female.
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Male 7,378
Didn`t they already let the cat out of the bag by naming him Pop? Be ridiculous to have a mom named Pop wouldn`t it?
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Female 1,515
I don`t see how this is a bad thing, really. Just because they`re not exerting gender biases on their kid (i.e. "No Tommy! Barbies are for GIRLS, here`s a G.I. Joe!") doesn`t mean they`re hindering him/her`s development. Though, I`m sure Pop will be peer-pressured into conforming at some point. And while the message is a good one (don`t stop your kid from expressing themselves, or doing what they love, because of society`s preconcieved notions of gender roles), I think you can still acknowledge gender and at the same time raise your kid in an accepting atmosphere...
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Male 551
@Angilion
"It" doesn`t have a genre yet, how can they
hide it?... Yeah, different things, but genre
is something "it" will build withing ages, not
by being alive... Unlike sex
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Male 2,422
Sex is biological. Gender is social.
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Male 12,365
I disagree on two points:

i) They`re keeping the child`s sex a secret, not the child`s gender. Two different things.

ii) It`s not a feminist philosophy because they`re not acting in a sex-specific way. Feminism is about female people, so it requires defining people by their sex as a fundamental step in everything. How can you be about female people without defining people as being female or other? That contradicts itself.

None of the people claiming various gendered things are inherent and linked to sex should be bothered by this experiment. The idea is to give the child a free choice of all the various gendered things. Anyone who thinks gender is innate should be certain that the child will choose whatever that person thinks is innate. So objecting to it makes it look like you don`t believe your own argument.
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Female 1,172
@Gunit Did you actually read the article? That`s not what it said at all. Read it again.
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Female 1,172
I`m partial to this though because I always thought if I had a kid who was born a hermaphrodite I wouldn`t `choose` for them..so I guess I consider this along the same lines, albeit less heavy psychologically.
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Female 850
That is just wrong... Depending on the gender, there are different chemicals in the brain and they have separate genitalia. Since they are not saying the gender, I can assume that they are raising it as the opposite as it really is just to prove a point. I really truly pity that child with all my heart for what he/she will go through once he/she realizes that not everyone was raised the way they were and that he/she isn`t a boy/girl.
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Male 551
@belunan
Partly true. Gender is a social construction,
but it has Psychical connotations. A girl is
instructed to play with dolls because only
girls are capable of giving birth. Her future
baby is being protected by showing the mom how
to take care of her baby

Same for boys. Sexual division of labour has
a lot to do with our psychical characteristics,
but that`s changing though
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Male 363
I for one think it`s less about the parents getting to make a statement and more about the kid being confused as all drat. By all means, teach your kid that men and women are equals and let them play with whatever toys they want but don`t hide the fact that it`s either a boy or a girl. There`s more to life than being different and doing whatever you want, the kid has to learn to fit in with society and that means learning the difference between boy and girl.
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Male 551
@CmdrBittles
In that case, why not...
"He is a boy, but we are giving him the choice
to play with dolls and plastic ovens, if he
wants to, and we don`t want other people to tell
him that`s wrong" ?
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Male 1,505
Sex and gender are not interchangeable terms. Sex refers to physical characteristics and gender refers to different social roles of men or women of a society. Richard Simmons would be an example of a man of female gender and if you want to see a woman of male gender, go to a lesbian bar and look for the woman with the flattop doing her best imitation of a burly longshoreman.

That said, this kid is drating doomed.
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Female 1,172
@gorgack2000 The point is not to "choose" one or the other for them. Clearly girls and boys naturally stray towards certain behaviors that differ from one another. The point of this I believe is to not make the child feel as if they must do one or the other because they are a boy or a girl. For example, the `boys should play with trucks not dolls` issue goes out the window with this. If Pop is a boy and likes playing with dolls no one will be buying him trucks because "boys should play with trucks". He will learn it`s okay to play with dolls or trucks because that`s what he likes to do. The child receives validation and acceptance for doing what feels good naturally to them instead of what people assume they should do based on other children.
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Female 3,598
Well, as long as the parents don`t try to force Pop to keep his/her own gender secret longer than he`she wants to, than i don`t see a problem with it... i struggled alot in my childhood with people telling me i couldn`t do things because i was a girl. but that`s because i was raised in a church that was overbearing... which really only made me rebel even more, which i am perfectly happy with ;-)
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Female 305
Whatever, let the parents do what they like..
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Male 134
"...the parents were quoted saying their decision was rooted in the feminist philosophy..."

So the baby is a girl. Or maybe it is a boy, and the parents want it to be a girl. Or maybe it is a girl, and they want their child to choose whether it wants to be a girl... or a boy. Or maybe the child is neither.

Whatever, the parents are idiots. The child is going to be so confused. If it is a boy, you raise it as a boy, and if a girl, you raise it as one. When their older they can choose to be "different" and change their gender.
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Male 551
You can`t identify yourself to anything
if you don`t have Something to identify to...

Isn`t it obvious? Maybe he will identify to
a cat, if a cat starts showing sexual behavior
near or towards him

Yeah, true. It`s and individual decision to
have one or another genre, at least
psychologically, but you gotta have a context
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Male 4,680
"“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.”"
It`s a natural thing though. I once read that they did a study where they placed a box of different toys in the exhibit of a mixed sex monkey troop.

They found that the male monkeys almost always picked the action figures/balls, whilst the female monkeys much preferred the dolls/other `girly` toys. Just thought I`d point that out to y`all.
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Female 1,172
@brio I also guessed girl originally too.
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Male 274
-open link
-CTRL+F
-check for word "feminist" or "feminism"
-word found
-close page
-comment on IAB
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Female 1,172
They said they would reveal it when Pop decides. So, that won`t be too long, probably before school starts. At first while reading it I thought it was really odd and maybe even damaging, but as I read on I kind of changed my mind and think maybe it`s not so harmful. I think it will make a much bigger difference if Pop is a girl. I think she may end up with better self-esteem than most girls due to not having to deal with the realization that pretty=good. Girls realize that being pretty gets a lot of attention very early on and I think partially is what leads to low self-esteem. So the more comfortable she becomes with herself early on , no matter what, the better off she is in the long run.

Any thoughts from anyone how it could effect Pop (if he`s a boy)? Good or bad? I don`t see things from a male perspective often, so don`t really know what to say about that.
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Male 1,610
[quote">information regarding the child`s gender is being kept from society, not the child[/quote">

lol, I sure hope not! If it was I`m sure David Reimer would have a few things to say about that....if he were alive that is.
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Male 782
Pop is not going to love his or her young, experimental parents for this in the future.

+ [email protected]&Crackle
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Male 2,229
at least they are parenting their child, and as the article states, information regarding the child`s gender is being kept from society, not the child, family, or chosen friends.
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Female 683
here`s the world`s next serial killer.
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Female 1,095
I sense at least a tiny amount of confusion in that child`s future. But that`s its parents` choice, unfortunately, to perform their experiment on Pop.
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Male 1,678
“It`s cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead.”
But it isn`t cruel to bring a child into the world with the name "Pop" on their birth certificate?
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Male 1,442
So they think all the tens of thousands of people who are right now freely changing genders or gender steriotypes are in suppression, because they knew what toilet to use in school?

God dammit it isn`t suppression thats the big issue, the legal world is slowly coming to accept it already. The main issue is individual peoples bigotry, which isn`t going to be changed by making them not know the gender... in fact since it is now all over the news this will only encorage the growth of bigotry that will be direct to the child.
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Female 895
Yes, lets not even give the child a chance of a successful school upbringing.
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Female 2,026
whatever, it will grow up gay
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Male 447
I love how some people are so "progressive" they ignore really obvious things in the name of equality. I`m sorry, but there *are* significant differences in how men and women behave. Why can`t we accept people`s differences for what they are rather than trying to lump everyone together in a bland equality soup?
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Male 2,056
i like the backbone behind their idea, not their course of action

And we all know it`s going to come out eventually, whether pop likes it or not (puberty)
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Male 628
A better headline:
Parents condemn child to s*** life followed by suicide
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Female 4
I have never been a girly-girl. My mom wanted me to wear dresses, she bought me barbies and little cooking sets, did everything you do for a little girl. I would have none of it. I preferred to run around with my brother climbing trees, playing with GI-Joes and with video games. I have always been rough-and-tumble. I was made fun of like craze in elementary school and through Junior High. It wasn`t until I got to college where I was really accepted.

My point being, even if you dress the child like a girl, that does not necessarily dictate how they act. It`s the whole argument of nature vs. nurture, which scientists (last I heard) determined that it`s about 50/50.

That being said, I do not think this is a good idea but is an interesting social experiment. I hope that I catch this in the news many years later and hear how poor Pop turns out.
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Male 14
I actually think it`s not a bad idea... and if you do think about it, gender stereotypes are applied to just about everyone at a young age...
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Male 2,548
oh I agree Pui (and would like to thank you for this link as well) but I can`t really view Pop as being genderless...rather full of gender. As a tot Pop already understands the physical differences between genders and will probably shortly discover Pop`s own gender by Pop`s lonesome. Sooner or later Pop will choose for Pop`s self if Pop would like to branch off in one direction or the other and Pop`s parents won`t be able to suppress that.

PS They should name their next children Snap and Crackle.
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Male 25,416
Its attention seeking, dumb people!
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Female 856
Here comes Pob, sorry, pop.
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Male 2,344
atually gender is much more a social construct then people think it is. It is NOT a femminist idea either. Psychologist studying child dvelopement over the last 50 years have determined that we indoctrinate children from a early age to act like a little boy or a girl.

think of the toys we give them when they are very young, boys have vertain toys and girls have theirs, this sends a early message to thema about who and what they are and how they are expected to act.

in societies where gender is less emphazied studies have shown that children do not identify with one gender or another as strong as in societies like ours where he quickly label children as boy or girl.
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Male 1,610
[quote]If enough people didn`t cater to the stereotypes they`d eventually fizzle out.[/quote]

If you keep the truth from the public, their prejudices will stay the same. The more exposed the public is to the truth, the more homosexuals will come to be accepted. If you pretend homosexuality doesn`t exist, it actually validates people`s prejudices.

@Pui - It sounds like the parents are just giving the kid the option of playing with any toy, or dress in any outfit, regardless of it`s gender. I agree that they shouldn`t force the kids to play with all that stuff, and they should probably hold off on doing this until the kid is old enough to make choices. Aren`t most toys genderless up until around age 4 or 5 anyway?
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Male 1,451
Maybe it`s just me, but isn`t Pop a fairly male name?

And the way I see it: won`t a gender neutrally raised male will (maybe stereotypically) turn up effeminately gay and a gender neutrally raised female will turn up masculinely lesiban?

Maybe that`s just the stereotype they are looking to disprove; in which case, kudos.
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Female 2,352
I see this backfiring.
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Female 247
Hopefully these parents are saving up for Pop`s future therapy.
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Female 3,574
@Geogypsy: I think it`d be smarter to not raise your child like their genderless, but rather that their gender isn`t an all important aspect of them that has to form who they are.
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Male 2,307
How is it stupid to not allow your child to be coerced by gender roles? There is nothing special about pink, blue, flowers, guns, explosions, or ponies that only one gender can enjoy.

In fact, I used to have a pony, and I used to pick flowers as a kid. Unfortunately I had a lot of gendering to curb all that, and now I am just a husk of a person existing in a carefully crafted, homophobic, misogynistic role: aka manhood.

But, I try to cut out all the homophobia and misogyny.
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Male 363
Pretty retarded, a girl is a girl and a boy is a boy. If he or she (kinda mysterious) wants to have a sex change when it grows up that`s perfectly fine and legal in Sweden but damn, don`t push that poo on a little kid. What happens when the kid starts school and goes into the wrong locker room or doesn`t understand common social etiquette? Setting your kid up for bullying is nice.
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Male 2,548
"I also don`t think that pretending like gender stereotypes don`t exist is a good idea either`

Why Pui? If enough people didn`t cater to the stereotypes they`d eventually fizzle out.
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Female 3,574
Personally, I do not think it`s right to force gender roles on children. If a little girl likes playing with trucks, she should be encouraged and she should not be forced to play with dolls instead simply because they`re a "girl" toy. However, if a little girl starts playing with dolls, that shouldn`t make the parents panic that their child has been assimilated by society... maybe she just likes dolls better, all on her own?

I don`t think that pretending like gender stereotypes don`t exist is a good idea either, because they do exist. I think it`s okay to break the boundaries of what is "normal" for each gender, but one should still be aware of the stereotypes that exist, no?
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Male 2,548
Good on the parents for raising a genderqueer child, I think that this Pinker woman should shut up.

I also think that we should be able to leave our gender blank on this site.
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Male 415
Possibly a smart move, but when Pop grows up, the truth might be let out
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Female 4,376
Kind of stupid if you ask me.
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Male 2,034
Poor kid.
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Male 1,610
Interesting idea giving the kid clothes and toys from both genders, but they are approaching this the wrong way by keeping the child`s sex a secret. Whether he is a boy or a girl, hiding his sex is preserving peoples` prejudices. If he is a boy who likes girl toys then they are going to make him ashamed of not being a girl by hiding his sex from the public or trying to later convince the public he is a girl. And visa versa.
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Female 1
I think as long as the parents aren`t using the kid as a social experiment or an opportunity to achieve fame, it`s a great idea. I admire that they want to raise Pop to "just be Pop" as opposed to isolating zem from any gendered activities - or stuffing zem into one of two gender roles.
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Female 2,509
Headline:

Child pisses themself in public after not knowing what bathroom to use.
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Male 15,510
Maybe is both
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Male 848
Seems like a good idea to me. Why are you all pooting yourself over this?
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Male 21
I can see this kid having some serious resentment toward the parents later in life.
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Male 566
I think that`s going to be one messed up kid.
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Male 472
stupid
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Male 196
Parents: screwing up their children since the beginning of time.
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Female 3,574
Link: Swedish Parents Keep Their Child`s Gender Secret [Rate Link] - Is gender a social construct? What do you think I-A-B?
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