Raising a Child Gender-Neutrally: Can it work?

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Link to the article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2089474/Beck-Laxton-Kieran-Cooper-reveal-sex-gender-neutral-child-Sasha.html

Sasha, a five year old from the UK was finally proclaimed to be a boy by his parents just over a week ago. For the first five years of Sasha's life, only a very select few were aware of his actual sex, and everyone else was left in the dark. With this decision, they've attempted to raise a child that is unaffected by gender stereotypes and allowed Sasha's interests to be uncensored and unguided by gender throughout his life. Sasha has chosen both boys' and girls' clothes so far and now that he is in primary school, is wearing the girls' shirt part of the uniform.
Though I find this concept of raising a child gender-neutral absolutely fascinating, I wonder if this is something that can actually work throughout Sasha's life. Though I think it's easy to mix gender as a young child, I think that this will become excruciatingly difficult once Sasha and his peers begin to reach puberty. Even though Sasha has been raised gender-neutral, will the onrush of hormones through puberty transform Sasha into an average male with masculine qualities? Or will the nature side of things be unable to best his neutral rearing and will he remain in a gender "gray area?" I think it's very progressive that these parents are trying to work outside the system and give their child a choice, but I have to be skeptical and wonder if this will make Sasha a comfortable, confident young adult, or set him up for an outrageously difficult life of confusion and questioning.


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This is an incredibly interesting post, mainly because I had never heard of this before and think it is very interesting. I have the same reservations as you do. I think that as this child grows up and realizes what society thinks of people and how they look, he will probably think his parents did him a great disservice. It is only going to confuse the child. Plus, when children are young, many times, kids just like to dress up, because they have not developed a self conscious view.

I found this post extremely interesting, because I have watched several documentaries on children that are raised gender-neutral, and I feel that this is a very different way of child-rearing. While I feel that this could be beneficial for the child in some ways at a young age, I also have my concerns and reservations about the future of the child as an adolescent, and as an adult. I'm wondering how his peers view him now, and if he is accepted or not within his age group. Will he be confused about his gender-identity later in age? Could this lead to emotional distress? These are some interesting thoughts I had while reading about this family. I am also wondering what motivations they had in raising their son in this fashion, and how this has affected his life so far. What is the importance of gender within the developmental stages of life?

Raising a child gender-nuetral seems very odd to me, I understand that they want their child to be who they are and express that but being identified as a certain gender should not stop the child's freedom to express themselves. I agree that the parents may in fact be doing more harm than good, it could create much confusion and perhaps being ostrasized by peers. There will be a much bigger challenge staying gender-nuetral as he gets older. I think it may in fact be a bigger hassle than its worth and cause more harm than good.

I read a book on women’s studies called “Women and Society (2011)” and the most important contention the author was trying to suggest is that gender is a social product. Compared to the concept of “gender”, “sex” is a biological issue resulting from physical distinction or hormones. Unlike sex, gender is determined by tradition and culture. I think what Sasha’s parents are trying to do is raising a child against the social segregation related to gender not against the biological distinction, so I think it is a wonderful idea.

I completely disagree with Sasha's parents. Raising a child with "gender neutrality" is by all means wrong. Our genders are part of our identity, and raising a child "without" a gender is striping them of their identity. These parents are imposing their beliefs onto their child in a severe fashion. There is nothing against this by law, however it is morally wrong.

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