When Should You Start Gender-Neutral Parenting?

Gender-Neutral Parenting

Educating in neutral-gender seems to have been installed in some homes. Among other celebrities, the singer Pink applies it with her children since she does not want them to grow up “defined under a gender.”

The reason why some families have decided to educate in the third sex, as this way of approaching education is also known, is to move away from the stereotypes that still survive in our society and thus not make a distinction between a boy and a girl.

An idea to which the singer Celine Dion has recently signed up, who has created a children’s fashion entitled “Celilinununu, gender-neutral and of indistinct use.” 

However, while some experts say that this sexual neutrality education is the most respectful way to educate, others consider that the model produces too much confusion. 

What We Could All Learn From Gender-Neutral Parenting?

The United States, Canada and Sweden are pioneers in defending the right of parents not to have to raise their children in one sex or another, and let them choose, when they are ready, which they feel most identified with, countries to which the Netherlands and Germany have joined this year.

Margarita Robles, a psychologist in Álava Reyes, explains that respect for the way in which each family wants to educate their children should be a maxim and ensures that, “in therapy, if the family does not perceive this respect for their values, even if we can think differently, from the psychological point of view, the “hook” is impossible. 

In Spain it seems very complicated a priori to educate in this way since there is hardly any talk about sexuality in general.” However, Robles points out that “the truth is that it is a much more respectful way of educating because it is the pace and evolutionary development of each person that sets the pace, and not the family or society that decides, and so on.

The minor is given the option of discovering an aspect of himself/herself that will be central in his / her life.”

But, how long can gender-neutral education be maintained? According to Margarita Robles, “the physiognomy and geniality do not necessarily have to define that the person is going to feel like a boy or a girl. Gender identity and physiology are not the same, there is no cause-effect relationship. Penis: boy, period, it is a very biased and simplistic vision of the complex human reality ”. And he affirms that most children finish nursery school and start school feeling if they are boys or girls, “so the wait is not long.”

To better understand the convenience of educating in neutral gender, Margarita Robles argues that “sexual orientation”, that is, if I am attracted to men or women, does not have to be determined by whether I feel like a man or a woman.

Gender identity (I feel like a boy or a girl) and sexual orientation (I like and attract boys or girls) are concepts logically related, but not subordinate to each other.

For this reason, he maintains that “educating in a neutral gender can be positive in any case, out of respect for the child’s evolutionary process, and has nothing to do with the sexual orientation that will develop and consolidate later, in adolescence.”

What is Gender-Neutral Parenting?

Gender-neutral parenting is a term for the type of parenting with gender roles and appropriation and there are various levels to it.

Most of us grew up with color appropriation where we know pink is for girls and blue is for boys, gender parenting doesn’t stress colors and is not keen on addressing children as either boys or girls; parents who practice this type of parenting buy genderless toys for their children and refused to apportion genders to their children until they get to the age of maturity where they can decide for themselves.

How to raise a child without imposing gender?

This is where the controversy is born. It depends on who you ask. “The biggest benefit of raising a baby with a gender-neutral approach is that it allows your baby to develop without the artificially created limitations that society has placed around gender,” says Israel Martinez, a licensed clinical social worker.

“As human beings, we want to simplify life and make it easier to digest new information. For this reason, naturally, we want to establish categories, or boxes, in which everything must fit.” 

Unfortunately, Martínez says, these gender norms are too limiting and can make children feel like they have to be something they are not, behave, dress, and speak in a certain way and this can prevent children from being as happy and healthy as they could be.

Should All Parents Raise their Child Gender-Neutral?

Gender-neutral parenting does not influence your sexual orientation but it can have a profound effect on how traumatic parenting is.

A child with the freedom to choose his own comfort level on the gender and sexuality spectrum will be less likely to be overcome by parental expectations that conflict with his inner life.

The whole point of this type of parenting is that sex – the designation based on genitalia at birth – should not dictate ‘permissible’ behaviors. If you like pink tutus, you should be allowed to like them regardless of your gender.

According to TransActive, 85% of boys, girls, and young people who were raised gender-neutrally (mixed genders) are cisgender (their gender identity matches the socially assigned at birth based on sex) and identify as heterosexual in adulthood.

So you heard it here Johnny, wearing nail polish won’t make him gay.

Final Thoughts

The purpose of this type of parenting is to free children from the binary restrictions and attitudes typically associated with their sex so that they can develop without the pressure of adult ideology, and take an important step towards a society in which gender stops be a limiting factor for the life cycle of people.

Will we be able to change our binary ideology to accommodate the full spectrum of possibilities of being? What would we be like if we hadn’t grown up limited by gender stereotypes?

Would our educational and work paths, our decisions, our attitudes have been different? To what extent has our way of being been constructed by our socialization, developed in response to the pressures received?

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