There’s a new trend in how parents raise their kids: theybies. Their sex is kept a secret from everyone, even the kids themselves. Theoretically, this protects them from feeling pressured into certain gender stereotypes—girls wearing pink, boys wearing blue, etc, but look around. How many girls do you see wearing pink? How many boys in blue? How many people are wearing what they want to wear, and how do you know a girl in a hot pink tutu doesn’t want to be wearing it?
Theybies do bring attention to issues with gender stereotyping, but they also make it worse. It’s not wrong for a girl to wear pink, or a boy blue. Along with reinforcing the stereotypes, theybies make it difficult to educate a child on their sex. They might have sex education in school, but they won’t know how to apply it to themselves. If the parents don’t want their kids to know what anatomy is associated with what gender, they may exempt them from the class, leaving them confused as to why they’re bleeding or growing hair.
We should tell kids their sex, without the intention of stereotyping them. They can be a boy or a girl without having to conform to current gender conventions. Make sure they know that they are free to make their own decisions regarding their identity.