What is your opinion on gender-neutral parenting?

Gender-neutral parenting is essentially parenting outside the mainstream boy/girl dichotomy. So, parents who try gender-neutral parenting tend to give their boys and girls both "boy toys" and "girl toys", dress them in both pink and blue (whatever they tend to want to wear so long as it's weather appropriate). It's all about diversity and removing limitations on gender expression. Would you try it?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • When I was little:
    -I played with barbies on occasion.
    -I had an easy bake oven
    -I watched Totally Spies! and the Powerpuff girls.
    -I had a stuffed doll with a blanket until around 4, I also had a ton of stuffed dolphins.

    Did I turn out gay or feminine? No. Quite the opposite. I'm very securely straight and many others consider me to be masculine. Kids brains are too underdeveloped to understand gender behaviors yet. Those don't emerge until later in life.

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    • It's really awesome to meet someone else who was raised gender-neutral. I honestly am the only one I know. High five!

What Guys Said 13

  • I am against it.

    Males and females have different brain configurations, different hormonal balances, and other biological differences that necessitates that they be raised in different ways for them both to succeed. For example, male children tend to excel when they are placed in competitive environments and they tend to flounder in cooperative environments, whereas female children tend to excel when they are placed in cooperative environments and they tend to flounder in competitive ones. To raise both genders in one particular environment is to make one of them tend to fail. To raise both genders in both is to have tend to excel only half the time. They need to be treated different for both of them to tend to excel.

    Likewise, male and female children all need to enter into the social world and dating marketplace. If a male child is raised to incorporate many female things in their life, then they will tend to become social outcasts and romantically unappealing. (No feminist shenanigans will make young girls want to date feminine boys.) Likewise with a female child: social outcast, romantically unappealing.

    Gender-neutral parenting is a recipe for intellectual retardation and chronic loneliness and misery.

    By all means, if a boy shows a natural affinity to female things, let the boy act on it, since it does no good to force notions of masculinity onto a potentially transgender child, and likewise with girls and forcing feminine things on them, but do not try to push cisgender children into opposite roles. That will just fuck them up.

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    • This... dont see why physiology should change because feminists dont like it.

  • http://youtu.be/oV5LQcmuGg8
    🎶"... and you knew who you were thennn... girls were girls, and men were mennnn..."🎶

    Haha, but for real... I don't think you have to necessarily enforce traditional gender roles if that's not what the kid wants to do, but the guy-girl system has been working for a long time, so let's not fuck with it too much. This PC shit will be the downfall of society, book it.

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  • it sounds disgusting and abusive. gender roles are evolved and natural, and those "limitations" are really just innate roles being fulfilled in a healthy manner with healthy boundaries.

    if you really want to make your children mentally ill, instill this cognitive dissonance into their poor impressionable minds

    bottom line up front : my sons will learn to shoot and fight, and will be raised to be leaders. my daughters will be taught boundaries and be kept from being slutty fuck ups.

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  • This kind of thinking just shows how freaking crazy the world is getting. The entire idea is nutty as hell.

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  • I'm not gender neutral but not gender restrictive either.

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  • Don't buy it. I'm fine with it being done passively, i. e. not enforcing traditional gender roles and allowing your kid to play with whatever he or she wants, but by deliberately providing toys of both genders you're just confusing the kid. A lot of the parents who do this, if you listen to them talk, are just kooks that are using their kids to impose their beliefs on... the liberal equivalent of far right bible thumpers instilling their religion on their children.

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  • It's like raising a fish and teaching it to climb trees. It will live its whole life thinking it is stupid and something is wrong with it because it will be trying to be something that it is not.

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  • No... too PC.

    gender differences should be celebrated, not condemning because they're unPC.

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  • what ever works for your family not really thought it.

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  • I will let my daughter play with whatever she wishes. Even though she will probably be the first female point guard in the NBA doesn't mean she can't play with dolls, toy trucks or anything she wants.

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  • I cannot think of anything more cruel. Anyone who has raised kids of both genders knows god damned well that they are generally different from day one. They are wired differently, they play differently and they are interested in different toys. Why would you intentionally try to fuck with that? The world is particularly cruel to boys who behave like girls and I think doing anything to encourage that is beyond cruel to a child.

    Let's be clear about something. This whole gender neutral crap is a misguided attempt on the part of feminists to give females advantage and it hurts males in so many ways that are not even understood yet, but feminists don't care about that. Just one of many reasons feminist are looked down on more and more.

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    • absolute truth.

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    • What aamy811 said, that's exactly what my parents did, hahaha! It's awesome to hear all of these amazing stories and viewpoints coming out.

      Back to you and I, though, you're aware of "several" cases? Really? Because I think that we gender-neutral raised kids probably make up less than 1% of the U. S. (I would go as far to say the Western world). I haven't even met anyone else raised gender-neutral and I have been raised gender neutral.

      "I would not wish that on my child" You would not wish being gay/transgender on your child? Like it's some curse? Very supportive of you...

      As a kid, we got asked a lot of questions I remember. I think that some kid gave my brother shit a couple of times, and some little girl accused me of being a "girl kisser" (but that was just because I hung around boys more than anything else) but he was never beat up or anything. Honestly it was mostly the other parents that gave my parents shit for it. (continued 1/2)

    • As far as the kid who taunted my brother, he was promptly dealt with by the teachers. Most of the children asked a lot of questions about certain things like why Alex (brother) liked lipstick. But actually I remember THEIR parents being upset because my brother shared his lipstick with their sons this one day. I think the hardest time for both of us was junior high, and I think in that time of our life we stuck to our "gender norms" just because we were afraid other people would think we were weird (for me this wasn't much of a change). In high school that all disappeared though--we didn't give a shit and most kids were chill.

      I wasn't grouping gender-neutral parenting in with the civil rights movement. o_O I grouped civil rights movements and feminism together because women's suffrage WAS a civil rights movement and women of color played a huge role in feminism. Yeesh.

  • I think it's extremely cruel. Especially to the boys, who will need to be assertive when they grow up if they want career success and romantic success.

    Those parents should watch their backs because their kids, especially the boys, are likely to grow up to be extremely embittered. There's nothing more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose

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    • lol yes the world devours sensitive little bitch boys, yet feminists are willing to sacrifice little boys for the sake of conceptual progress

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    • It will happen evetually. It's just takes time. Things like this always get sorted out in the end. It's happened once it'll happen again. But everyone has a type. I like more passive guys, because I think I'm pretty assertive myself. I don't really mind. everyone has a preference you can't make them change it. No ones taught me to like passive guys and girls I just do

    • Why will it happen, in the face of overwhlming evidence it doesn't work, just as turning a gay person straight doesn't work?

      Why should it happen?

      Are you sure no one's taught you to like passive guys? I'd be surprised if thats true.

  • There is no way I would do that to my son. A boy that dresses in pink is going to get picked on. Any parent that does that is making their son a target.

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What Girls Said 12

  • I find it interesting so many of the answers instantly say "I would never do that to my *son*", but not a single one has made a statement that it would be detrimental to a daughter. Apparently boys have a lot more to lose by being feminized than girls do by being masculinized?
    Anyway, personally I know if I become a parent, I won't raise my kids as "gender neutral". I would never tell them they weren't allowed to play with baseballs or barbies or action figures or what not, but I'm not going to try to purposefully encourage them to be non-binary.

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    • Generally I would say yes, boys suffer from being feminized more than the opposite.

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    • For boys and men, it seems, being called a woman or stereotyped as a woman is the biggest offense. Raising a boy out of masculine norms is "shaming him" because you are allowing him to also enjoy "girl stuff". It's not insulting for a girl to be masculine because it's not insulting to be a man.
      Gender-neutral parenting isn't for everyone. My parents did their fair share of research before they began raising us the way they did. I can't imagine what would happen if parents attempted to raise gender-neutral children without completely understanding gender/gender norms.

      I would like to add though, gender-neutral parenting does not mean you are rasing them to be non-binary or androgynous. It's more about talking to them about gender roles and encouraging their interests in little ways (saying "wow, you're a great artist!") instead of their appearance/roles ("you're a BIG STRONG boy!"), etc.

      Thanks for your viewpoint!

    • That's exactly what gender neutral is about. It's not about telling your kids not to choose a gender. It's about letting them decide who they want to be, and what they want to do. By letting kids pick whatever toy they want, the toy has now become "gender neutral"

  • I would not give my son a Barbie doll or dress him in hot pink or lavender. Do I give my son options, of course. But I'm not going to try and set him up to get made fun of either. Is it right that kids get made fun of for these things, no. But it doesn't change the fact that they do. If my son woke up tomorrow and told me he was gay or transgender (I would be utterly shocked...) but I would do my best and work through it for his sake. We do however talk about being gay and transgender. I have not taken him down the road of bisexual conversations since he is only six. So what I'm getting at is, I believe you can keep your child's mind open without throwing them in a fire.

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    • What I mean by talking about it is we discuss that lifestyle. And although it's different then I choose it doesn't make it wrong.

    • I feel like everyone here thinks raising gender neutral means you force your son to wear pink, or force your daughter to wear blue. Gender neutral is exactly what you just said letting them choose. So if he wants to dress like a princess let him, and if she want to be a ninja turtle let her. That what gender neutral is all about

  • it's innovative and something i'd definitely consider if i ever have kids

    ... but realize, there are inherent complications... those same dichotomies are reinforced constantly via friends/school, the media, etc.

    until the child is old enough to be sufficiently self-aware and make sound and confident decisions about his/her interests... he/she'd have to live in a bubble... otherwise you get a LOT of complications and mixed messages... and it'd defeat the purpose
    (homeschooled kids already have a tough time with a healthy social life--and this would be so much further)

    either way, bubble or not... i'd worry about their socio-psychological development being too artificially controlled to be healthy
    (if you play TOO active a role in shielding them... they may grow up feeling highly insecure)

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  • Um... my idea of "gender neutral" is not giving them both toys, dressing them in both blues and pinks. But more letting them pick their own toys and dressing them in neutral colours (green, brown, white, black, etc.) I wouldn't want my child to be a transsexual or to have problems identifying itself with one of the genders, I want my child to be able to grow up free of the gender stereotyping. If my daughter likes pink, she can have pink stuff. But I won't be the one to put the idea in her head that girls wear pink, boys wear blue. My child would have the freedom to choose whether she wants to play with barbies or building blocks, and my son would have the freedom to choose whether he wants to play with cars or cooking sets.

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    • transsexualism isn't a result of poor parenting... it's genetic

    • lol no it's not genetic. children or grandchildren of transsexual people don't have the tendency to become transsexual. Sometimes it's just how the brain of the child works, yes. But sometimes it's also the parenting style.

  • I love it. I will raise my kids gender neutral. Y sister raises her daughter neutral and it's awesome. Too often girls stop doing things they love because it not "manly" and their afraid that Boys won't like it. But if we change what people do into just things (vs gender things) and teach that to our kids then no one has to be afraid of what their doing for fear that it doesn't follow gender stereotypes. I think with this many more women will start to become a families care taker and many more men will stay at home, and that's perfectly fine. I love the idea and will be teaching my adopted kids the same thing

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  • I played with toys which if they had to be would be classed as 'boy's toys'. I never had a barbie because I never wanted one, I didn't watch Disney shite either so I never bought into the whole 'Little Princess Dressed In Pink' bullshit. I didn't wear pink because my favourite colour was red. I read graphic novels and real books about adventures and pirates... I didn't turn into a tom boy or a lesbian so I don't think not brainwashing your kids to be defined by there gender is a good thing. Sure, if they want to play with dolls and pretend to be a princess there's nothing wrong with that, but it is all about media influence and conditioning. I think this may have some impact on my ideas of marriage: it genuinely is of no importance to me. My female friends say that they used to play 'getting married' when they were little, and a lot of women say they dreamt of their wedding day since they were little, but I just can't relate. I think it's fine to not force things on kids, but raising them gender neutral is a bit OTT.

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  • I'll never be a parent in my life.

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  • I wouldn't mind letting my son play with both Hotwheels & dollies, though I'd want for him to play with dolls that had a realistic body image of a female so he picks up early on how a girl naturally looks.

    I don't think I'd dress him in pink, but I'd be fine with dressing my daughter in blue.

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  • I think it is absolutely necessary. "Love a son, raise a daughter" not for me.

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    • I've never heard that expression before. What's it mean?

    • It means that boys don't really need education because the world is curved out for them, they just need to be loved.
      While girls need to be educated on so many levels. They're asked to be at their best, physically and mentally. They are expected to be good wives, good mothers and nowadays, have a good job. They need to be raised (and loved too of course..).

  • I'm all for it! I always loved "boy" toys but hardly ever got to play with them. :/

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  • That's how my parents brought us up, and I thank them for it. I always felt girls were amazingly strong and could do anything in the world, while my extremely girly friends always told me "oh we can't do that, we're girls" or the common "what are you doing? Girls don't do that"
    I grew up not knowing men are supposed to be seen as stronger than women, it was only when I went to school that I found out the rest of the world thinks there are things you can and can't like or do because of your gender.

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  • I think it's fine if your kid chooses different things to play with. Most young kids I know play with both "boy" and "girl" toys to some degree - play cooking, superheroes, shiny stuff, cars. It's all good. Forcing them is just as unfair Either way, though. Heck, your boy may want a science set not a plastic gun. Your girl may want a guitar not a Barbie. Etc.

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