An unconventional couple in Canada has recently announced that they are keeping the gender of their child a secret. The couple says that they don't want their baby, Storm Stocker, to be limited by the gender expectations placed on him/her by society. They want Storm to be free to play with whatever toys he/she wants to and wear whatever outfits that he/she wants to. Even the grandparents are unaware of the gender of Storm. Storm's siblings are sworn to secrecy and the parents have also stated that they are in no hurry to inform the child itself of which gender it is. They hope Storm will come to his/her own conclusions about which gender he/her best identifies with. Storm also has 2 older brothers, five and two years-old. Storm's parents have tried to also raise them in an environment uninhibited by gender stereotypes. Jazz likes to wear his hear in long pigtail braids.
Storm's story is taking the media by storm. Many reports have been done, and the case has been mentioned on multiple news networks. It was even discussed on The View. A recent poll of 52,000 people conducted by the Today Show revealed that 11% of viewers found it to be a great idea, while 89% thought it was a terrible idea. The couple has been bombarded with criticism, but stands beside their decision. Storm's mother, Kathy Witterick is quoted as saying, "The idea that the whole world must know our baby's sex strikes me as unhealthy and voyeuristic."
The first sentence in our Psychology textbook about gender identity is as follows: "Gender concepts are crucial to children's understanding of themselves as social beings." Therefore, I think that these parents are in fact creating a world of confusion for their child, rather than the safe and gender-neutral world they are trying to create. The baby is too young to make any decisions for himself, he is too young to stand up to all of the criticism by himself. Identifying with a gender can be essential in building an identity and a sense of self. Therefore the fact that Storm's parents don't acknowledge any gender will leave poor Storm worse off in the long run then if they had provided a clear picture of identity for Storm.