Pop’s parents, both 24, made a decision when their baby was born to keep Pop’s sex a secret. Aside from a select few – those who have changed the child’s diaper – nobody knows Pop’s gender; if anyone enquires, Pop’s parents simply say they don’t disclose this information.
“We want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mould from the outset,” Pop’s mother said. “It’s cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead.”
…with a second child on the way, Pop’s parents have no plans to change what they see as a winning formula. As for Pop, they say they will only reveal the child’s sex when Pop thinks it’s time.
I think this is pretty cool. There’s something powerful about allowing a child to notify the world of their gender, if and when they choose to. But, of course, there are those who are objecting:
“Ignoring children’s natures simply doesn’t work,” says Susan Pinker, a psychologist and newspaper columnist from Toronto, Canada, who wrote the book The Sexual Paradox, which focuses on sex differences in the workplace.
It sounds to me like the parents aren’t “ignoring children’s nature,” they’re allowing their child to identify for his or herself what that nature is. At the same time, I do think this statement of Pinker’s is probably more accurate:
“It’s unlikely that they’ll be able to keep this a secret for long. Children are curious about their own identity, and are likely to gravitate towards others of the same sex during free play time in early childhood.”
But, nevertheless, I think it’s worth it to give Pop the ability to state his or her own gender, rather than having it be built into every interaction before he or she makes a conscious decision about it. Thoughts from the peanut gallery?