Gender Neutral - Sasha Laxton Defies Stereotypes

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Until recently, a child living in Great Britain lived without the constrictions, stereotypes, or regulations of gender. Raised as "gender-neutral", Sasha Laxton's parents kept Sasha's gender a secret. As he is now five years old, and beginning school, they have revealed that he is a male. Having lived an early childhood free of gender stereotypes, Sasha has preferences that are not necessarily specific to that of a young boy. He plays with dolls, as well as trucks. He enjoys playing dress-up, and laughs at the idea that pink is a girl's color, and blue is a boy's color. When asked if he thinks boys and girls are different, he said "No." Sasha shows that without a gender identity, a child's perspective on the differences between male and female are significantly affected. Although at such a young age, a child's understanding of gender and sexuality are quite minimal and mostly developed due to appearances and personality differences.
Sasha's story demonstrates the strength of the effect that nurture has on a person. Children are more prone to have the perspectives, stereotypes, and overall view on their society shaped. Sasha's parents actively influenced his views on gender roles, by omitting the issue of gender from his personal identity completely. By nature, Sasha is male. However, when nurtured to be gender-neutral, he made no more personal effort to act as a male than to act as a female. This example proves that, in children, nurture is more important than nature in instances of gender.article-2090169-1160FED9000005DC-627_468x703.jpeg

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I think this is a very interesting way to raise a child. Generally, gender plays a large role in shaping a child's preferences and personality. Because Sasha was raised as gender-neutral, he seems to have a mixture of the stereotypical preferences of young boys and girls. I think it will be very interesting to see how Sasha grows up and see how his new identity as a male might play a role in his growth.

I think this is a very different way to raise a child. Although the parents raise their child this way so that he is free of gender stereotypes, I think it might be rather confusing to a small child. It is a good idea and there are good reasons for teaching their child that gender shouldn't make a difference when making friends, working with others, or judging one's abilities, however, I think this overall tactic is only going to confuse the child later on in life. This specific family's view on nature versus nurture in gender is definitely different from most others considering the family would rather have their child infulenced by the outside environment, or nurture, rather than nature. I agree that it will be very interesting to see how Sasha grows up and also see his perspective of girls versus boys.

First of all, this is a very interesting story. It's hard to believe that someone would attempt to raise their kid as gender-neutral.

Anyways..

I think this parenting method could be good or bad. I think it would be a good method because it seems that the child will treat everyone equally. So, if many other children raised their kids this way, you could assume that our world would have less problems.

In my personal opinion, however, I think this is a bad parenting method. If a child was raised neutral in any way, whether it is gender, race (I don't know if this is possible), etc., then that person wouldn't be able to express who they are.

It will be interesting to see how Sasha's future plays out.

I think that the parents in this article have done a great job of embracing the pro's of raising a child without surrounding him/her with gender stereotypes and creating a unrestricted learning environment, but I don't know if they truly thought of the con's in this style of parenting. I agree that young boys and girls should have the choice to play with dolls or trucks or play sports and have tea parties without having the gender stereotypes pushed on them, but one thing that the article doesn't address is the confusion that may arise from being raised believing there is no difference between males and females. There are very basic biological differences between males and females that Sasha will discover one day and may have a difficult time coping with the newly found information that boys and girls are different. Gender roles are very important in our society and though I don't agree with the stereotypical "housewife" and "working husband" roles I still think there is value in exposing our children to the views of our society from a young age.

I think sasha will meet many problems when he enter the society, but I do not mean that it is bad . Originally, sasha's mind are more netural so he can make good relationship between both male and female. The problems are more likely to be how does other kids accept him and whether they would influence sasha's mind a lot. In my opinion, sasha will be isolated in the future.

I think it is very brave of the family to let their child decide who they are and who they want to be. However, raising Sasha gender-neutral can also set him up for a life of teasing and confusion once he reaches school age. Personally, I think we should support any child that wants to dress up in a skirt or play with trucks, whether they be a boy or a girl. The sad truth however, is that the world we live in is not always so accepting. That said, if the parents prepare him for what lies ahead, Sasha should live a fulfilling and successful life.

Sasha's parents took a huge risk by raising their child as gender neutral. Society is not ready for a child to be raised without knowing which gender they are. I think that Sasha will, unfortunately, be picked on and teased for most of his childhood, and he will need lots of therapy. I agree that there are some pro's of raising him this way, but only from his perspective. From the rest of society's perspective, he will be an easy target for any kid looking to bully someone. I hope he grows up without too much trouble, but I do not agree with the decision that Sasha's parents made for him.

This method of of raising a child really fascinates me. I wonder what the motives were behind Sasha's parents doing this? It is apparent a large part of it was to break down gender stereotypes, however, will this land young Sasha to be confused on what gender truly is for the rest of his life? I mean how is he even suppose to know what public bathroom door to enter?
In a society such as ours, there is such a strict mold to how males and females should look and act. In the mind set Sasha's parents have decided to shove him into, I can imagine he will not have the easiest road ahead of him. My only hope is that they have prepared him for the troubles he is bound to face.

It is so bald for Sasha’s parents to raise him without gender stereotypes. An obvious phenomenon is that females are supposed to do more housework while males usually gain high salaries and have relatively higher social status. Even though women become more independent in modern society, a wife is always expected if one of she and her husband must give up the career and take care of the family. It must be interesting and valuable if Sasha, a child being raised neutrally, speaks out his experience how would he think of these stereotypes.

Perhaps my mom once had the similar idea of raising me without clearly gender restrictions. She bought me clothes in all kinds of colors and encouraged me playing sports with boys. I liked played soccer as much as I enjoyed watching dramas and wearing makeups for my grandma. I did not prefer dresses and I was not against when my mom shaved my head bold. I brought my soccer ball everywhere. Therefore, some friends of my mom thought I was a cute boy instead of a girl. However, as soon as I entered primary school, I showed extremely large interest in playing girl games and gradually spent more time with girls.

I feel so lucky that my mom did not raise me in an extreme way that Sasha’s parents are using. I do not think the pattern of Sasha’s parents will finally work out. It seems that there is nothing wrong with hiding his gender for now, Sasha may be confused about himself in the future. Sasha lives in a sexist culture and it cannot be change in a day. It is highly possible that he will be curious about genders as he grows up. He then needs to discover and find out his own position.

I agree with the concept wholeheartedly, because I believe that this may well be a good way for little Sasha to develop a better sense of empathy for females as he goes about his life, and respect for women is becoming a scarcity nowadays. Empathy and not conforming to the standard pink-and-blue way of doing things seems like it would allow Sasha to enter the social scene without a pre-instilled sense of "girls are different than I am".

I think that more parents should give their children options of colors, apparel, interests, and styles than the norm today. Most parents still paint girls' rooms pink and boys' rooms blue, and don them accordingly. This pushes the idea into the child's head that the blue or pink is really the only acceptable option for them, and that anything else is wrong. Raising a child to be completely gender-neutral is laudable and I hope for best, as society will most likely be rather confused and resort to crude mocking. The idea is really what we should be moving towards, however: ultimate acceptance of all people.

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This page contains a single entry by godfr101 published on February 7, 2012 1:33 PM.

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