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Parents raising their children genderless

Indeed, Martinson says her mother has continually questioned her parenting style, describing it as ‘odd’ or ‘weird’ that her children break gendered dress codes, and says she has struggled to understand that Martinson will only speak. not about her children’s gender identity until they do.

By contrast, Tschannen says his parenting style hasn’t been “as much of a problem” as he expected, and he has yet to witness any harsh backlash in person. “We explained it to our friends and family without making too much of a fuss and they just [went] with it,” he explains. Nonetheless, he faced online backlash from strangers whenever he wrote about his family. “Some people think that’s extreme, they imply that we’re brainwashing our kids and taking something away from them (i.e. all aspects of gender),” he says. “People have a lot of misconceptions.”

A larger trend?

Whether gender-neutral parenting will become more accepted and mainstream is an ongoing debate among followers and observers of the phenomenon.

Siever argues that recent examples of gender-neutral parenting in the news and on social media may contribute to “a small increase in acceptance.” However, in their view, this is not going to become a mainstream trend anytime soon. “I hope it will become much more mainstream, but at the current rate it is going to take decades, especially with right-wing politics and talking points about protecting children from so-called ‘gender ideology’ in rising all over the western world.”

Tschannen also believes there is “a long way to go” before gender-biased parenting ceases to be a niche, despite growing media attention to the phenomenon. He believes there is a big difference between noticeable increases in interest and tangible changes in behavior. “There is a common reaction from generally open-minded parents who call it ‘an interesting idea’ but assume that gender-neutral parenting is difficult to implement and therefore don’t give it much further thought. .”

However, others, like Martinson, are more optimistic about the trajectory, especially in more progressive countries like Sweden, which has always stood for gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights. In the years since she had her first child, Martinson says far fewer parents now stop her on the playground to ask her about the gender of her children. In the meantime, she’s noticed more gender fluidity in the marketing of children’s clothing and toys — “boys in pink, boys in tights and things like that” — which she says has a impact on attitudes.

“I think [gender-neutral parenting] will be easier and more popular,” she says. “In my mother’s generation, most people don’t understand it at all, but in my generation, a lot of people understand it, so when my children have children, I think and hope that sex will not be a problem the same way it is now.”

Update October 3: This release does not include a line that may have been insensitive to readers.


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