Decision Meets
Harsh Criticism

Five years after their baby was born, UK couple Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper have finally revealed the sex of their child. Keeping the gender a secret was a choice they made to allow their little one to develop interests independent of gender, but parents everywhere are crying foul. Check out the story and read what real moms had to say about it.

Child with unknown gender

Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper decided early on to keep the sex of their child a secret from everyone, with the exception of family members and a few close friends. They dislike preconceived gender roles and stereotypes and wanted their son to grow into himself naturally. ""Stereotypes seem fundamentally stupid," said Laxton. "Why would you want to slot people into boxes?"

Now that their child is getting to be school-aged, they have finally decided to reveal that they indeed have a son. Steering him away from ultra-masculine clothing, they have otherwise encouraged him to pick and choose his own items to wear, including pink sparkly swimsuits.

On the right track

Some moms we asked thought that these folks were on the right path to letting their child choose how he felt instead of placing him in a pre-defined gender role. "I think it is a neat experiment to see how a child chooses to act without the gender roles introduced," said Cathy from Texas. "I think he would probably be pretty well adjusted as a 5-year-old."

It's the thought that counts

Other moms love the idea of not stereotyping a child based on his or her physical sex, but they also thought these parents went about it the wrong way. "I dressed my daughter in almost exclusively gender-neutral clothing until she was old enough to tell me (even by simply pointing) what she preferred," said Heather, mother of one. "By limiting this child's choices, such as allowing shiny pink swimsuits but disallowing 'hyper masculine' clothing, his parents are not giving him free choice at all. They are being complete hypocrites and are forcing him out of a gender role."

Dana from California agreed. "It is fairly hypocritical to say it is so he can chose what he likes, then ban quintessential boy clothing and allow super girly things."

No how, no way

Even more moms thought the whole idea was absurd and pushed the limits. "They didn't want him to be any different based on his gender," shared Charlene, mom of two, "but now with this article and his face plastered all over he sure is going to feel different. Way to go parents."

Tonya from Missouri felt the same. "It's almost like they were discouraging him from being a boy," she explained. "Boys are boys and they are awesome! Girls are girls and they are too. The whole thing is stupid in my opinion."

Questionable motives

It's hard to say what the motives of the parents were, considering the international attention the idea of a genderless child has brought. Jenna, mom of two, said, "I wonder how big of a paycheck they received to finally reveal this information." And Gwenn from Ohio was suspicious as well. "The parents clearly have an agenda. It's not right to use your child as a sociology experiment or a political statement."

More on gender and sex

Decorating a gender-neutral nursery
Child's gender-bending Halloween costume sparks debate
Should you find out the sex of your baby?

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Comments

Comments on "Parents finally reveal gender of 5-year-old child"

Linda January 24, 2012 | 12:58 PM

I like that the parents don't want their child to be stereotyped depending on what happens to be between their legs. BUT I think these parents still limited this kid's choices by allowing shiny pink clothes but not stuff that is defined as masculine. It's like they were trying to turn him into a girl. Plus, by making this story public and plastering his face everywhere, the chances that he is going to be judged harshly by his peers and perhaps even be bullied are much higher now.

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