Tuesday, May 31, 2011


A person's sex is biological, primarily determined by XX or XY. A person's gender is largely a social construct, or what being of one sex or the other "means."

This may be old news, but it's interesting nonetheless. A couple in Canada decided to withhold their newborn's gender from the world and him/herself. The idea is to let the child discover his/her own gender and decide for him/herself. It's an interesting "experiment," to say the least, and one that has drawn a lot of controversy.

Personally, I think the child will be all right. S/he will figure out gender, as it's been shown that a child's concept of gender is innate and becomes cemented by the time they're 4 or so. A child "knows" if they're a girl or boy. But what does it "mean?" That can be challenged.

I'm not sure I agree with the way the parents are withholding the child's gender from the child and the world. I think they'd be better off treating the child in such away to avoid gendered stereotypes. Because, honestly, gender stereotypes (to me) seem to be getting less distinct and less important. But maybe that's just me. There's a related article on masculinity that's an interesting read.

On a completely different note, I came across this recently:

Oh to have a body half as good as that, lol. Yeah, it's totally unrealistic for the vast majority of us to ever have a body remotely like that. And I can accept that. Doesn't mean I/we can't try to get halfway there (which, honestly, is more than good enough). :-P

Btw, Chris Fawcett is HOT. It's mostly his eyes to me, and less his body.


naturgesetz said...

But isn't it the child's sex that they are refusing to disclose?

Manu said...

lol :p nice video :)

Mind Of Mine said...

I think this is really interesting, I can't imagine to be a success, its not being told that distinguishes out gender.

B said...

I'm not sure how I feel about those parents. It's a parent's job to give their child guidance, and as far as I understand it, they're basically saying, "Figure it out yourself, kid!" They'd better not teach the kid to speak English, either. What if he/she would prefer to speak Russian? Who are they to impose their language on him/her? Okay, so that's a little exaggerated, but I do think they're taking their ideas of non-conformity a little too far.

Biki said...

Our genders aren't a social construct, that is inborn and innate. What is a social construct is how we view gender norms, and how we mold our children into the "correct" actions for their sex, which luckily for most people is the same as their gender.

I can understand them not announcing the child's sex to others, because as soon as they say "its a boy/girl!" others will start reacting and treating the child only thru the lens of sex.
(by the way, sex is what's between your legs, and gender is what's between your ears)

However, the child will at some point need to socialize with others, and this could prove to be a stumbling block down the road. Giving the child toys for both sexes, dressing the child in a less sex driven way, could help others see the child as a whole person, just not their sex. Because try as we might, it's quite hard to pull all sex/gender influences from our initial assessment of them.

nice post!

Ron said...

agree with video.

agree with fawcett.

I'm quite sure the kid will eventually figure out his/her gender.

It's not that hard.

She/he will go out to the world, meet friends. get taught the same thing every kid does.