To a greater extent, gender-neutral parenting is possible in the modern world, whereby the child’s sexuality becomes hidden until they identify as male, non-binary, or female. The 1972 magazine story X: A Fabulous Child’s Story by Lois Gould explores a kid named ‘Baby X’ born for an experiment to showcase how guardians can raise a gender-neutral child (Gould, 2018). Gould reveals the rapid escalation of the societal stereotype attached to sex, which dictates toddlers’ future gender roles and responsibilities. There has been a separation among human being sexes and principles regarding how they should live accordingly, relating from the time of Adam and Eve. People are classified as either men or women but have not considered the possibility that evolution does not reinforce such an idealized cultural approach. If gender does not exist, does it mean people will not continue to undertake their daily activities? The paper will discuss how it is possible to raise a gender-neutral child despite the communal and socialization challenges faced.
Each society or person has a unique culture, including customs, ideologies, and conduct. In that case, people must abide by the norms engendered to instill recommendable behaviors. Although parents concur with the communal set rules, they should raise their children without them experiencing gender role stereotypes during their stages of life. ‘Baby X’ grows in an environment having the freedom to select the role models, choose the dress code, develop an assortment of capabilities, and pinpoint individual identity (Gould, 2018). During their interaction and socialization at an early age (below two years), children do not know their gender and play together without any segregation (Goldstein-Schultz, 2016). As a result, they do not worry about behaving like girls or boys. Therefore, it requires the parents, the primary agents of socialization, to determine how society needs to address their kids. After embracing that, the other agents, including the school, must respect the guardians’ decision and support in raising the children.
The socialization theory indicates that deviant and prosocial behaviors are learned through school, family, and peer clusters. Due to the good environment in which ‘Baby X’ was raised, it could acquire multiple skills during the school enrollment and achieved more than average children due to interacting with both boys and girls. Society can support gender-neutral parenting by ensuring it does not suppress the kid’s abilities grounded on what a girl or a boy can or cannot accomplish (Goldstein-Schultz, 2016). As a result of the favorable policies in the school, Baby X won the relay race and spelling bee. Primary socialization enhances prosocial conduct and enables individuals to cooperate towards attaining a common goal. At first, X encounters massive bullying at the school, but most peers acknowledged X to be having extensive fun within a short period (Gould, 2018). After observing the behavior of X, they help in challenging gender stereotypes. A boy playing football commences bringing his sister’s doll to school, and another girl starts taking monkey bars games. Given that peer clusters, who are the primary agents, can embrace the existence of gender-neutral babies, it becomes much more capable of raising them.
Significantly, from the intersectional approach, defining children by their gender, religious background, race, class, or any other feature is discriminatory. Such a phenomenon enables raising children difficulty, as they learn to be biased in most situations and it impedes their awareness of identity and self-recognition (Goldstein-Schultz, 2016). Secondary socialization enables the children to learn appropriate behavior according to the new rules set outside the home. From the case, X was forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, as the parents in the school believed that being gender-less had adverse repercussions on a child (Gould, 2018). However, it was determined that X had improved psychosocial development contrasted to other students. The environment outside the home may create an unfavorable condition for raising a gender-neutral child. The children become limited to accessing and practicing the interests of the opposite gender as the parents refuse to comply with negative behaviors embedded by societal culture.
Gender neutral-socialization enables guardians to raise kids free from preconceived gender norms and allow them to select their way of life. The children follow the conventional gender rules and transform the perceptions projected toward being either a man or a woman (Goldstein-Schultz, 2016). Despite a shift in society regarding roles attributed to a certain gender, the school system tends to reinforce them according to what it feels acceptable to the general community. In the modern world, there is a change concerning gender roles, whereby women take careers once deemed to be men-oriented, like taking care of their families and vice versa. The X: A Fabulous Child’s Story showcased that kids are better at believing in transforming and accommodating other people’s differences (Gould, 2018). Significantly, the child’s parent plays an essential duty in changing their perceptions of discrepancies and what is acceptable. Notably, being born either girl or boy comes with many inevitable stereotypes. However, even though it is not easy for the general society to accept the gender-neutral socialization and parenting style, it is possible to raise a child in such an environment.
Most religious people believe that it is impossible to achieve genderless status as some parents want their kids to be. The sexuality and identity of a child should be as designed by God and not hidden (Goldstein-Schultz, 2016). Despite their liberty, children may be subjected to harm, including bullying by society, peers, and the school. Nevertheless, under the realm of social media, it has substantially advocated for fighting gender biases and stereotypes, resulting in embracing a gender-neutral upbringing. In that case, every child must have the freedom to follow the chosen preferences. Breaking such norms using the social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by the urban millennial parents, makes children have extensive confidence in their expression and choices. Like Baby X, most parents are not revealing the gender of their kids to the world, and people have accepted their parenting style (Gould, 2018). Due to gender reveal, women have been regarded as recessive compared to men regarding their physical strength, social status, career, and wealth. However, due to the social media advocating for genderless babies, most women have become more self-sufficient, independent, and highly powerful when they grow up.
In conclusion, even though raising a gender-neutral baby is possible, it is not a walk in the park. It requires dedication and determination by the parents, whereby they neglect the culture and norms imposed on gender. The social agents, including school and peer clusters during socialization, have been shown to set rules that embrace gender-neutral parenting. They abolish discrimination to enhance more innovative kids, not biased to situations and have the freedom to choose what they like being confident in their choices. Reinforcing such acts with social media makes it possible to raise gender-neutral kids in the modern world.
Goldstein-Schultz, M. (2016). The living gender curriculum: Helping FCS students analyze gender stereotypes. Journal of Family & Consumer Sciences, 108(3), pp. 56-62.
Gould, L. (2018) The X: a fabulous child’s story. Edited by Margaret, Hobbs and Carla, Rice. Gender and women’s studies: Critical terrain, pp. 164-170. Canadian Scholars.