The Problem With Gender Reveal Parties

You don’t get far in this whole pregnancy and children thing before someone explains to you the difference between boys and girls. And no, not just the obvious. Barely a day goes by without someone telling you there are “innate” differences between the genders.

Typically the proof for this startling piece of knowledge is someone was talking to someone who watched a YouTube clip featuring someone who’d read an article on the internet that showed women are hardwired to prefer pink to other colours.

And with evidence like that, who am I to argue?

Gender reveal cake ... The baker is given the ultrasound result and proceeds to prepare a pink or blue cake with white icing.Gender reveal cake … The baker is given the ultrasound result and proceeds to prepare a pink or blue cake with white icing. Photo: Baby Bird Art, via parentsociety.com

In fact, as the mother of the most girly three-year-old imaginable, I too have relied on inherent gender differences to explain why my daughter likes to colour in pictures of fairies while my friend’s son of a similar age prefers to commando-roll off the couch.

But my recent discovery of “gender reveal parties” has made me wonder how many of these “hard-wired” gender differences are actually just social constructs.

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