Gender Neutral Parenting Essay

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Over the decades, a significant mark of the evolution of gender is the increasing social phenomenon in how society conceptualizes gender. Gender is a system of social practices for characterizing people as two different categories, femininity and masculinity and arranging social relations of inequality on the basis of that difference (Ridgeway & Correll 2004). Gender-neutral parenting (GNP) refers to raising children outside of the traditional stereotypes of girls and boys. It involves allowing children to explore their innate personalities and abilities rather than confining them into rigid gender roles that society has shaped. It can be argued that it is through socialization children discover how to operate in gendered structures, learn …show more content…

This essay will argue that children should definitely be raised with gender, and address some key concepts and perspectives used in sociological analysis.

Gender-neutral parenting is a method for raising children, used by parents who have a passion to teach non-sexism and social justice to their children (Dumas 2014). It is rooted in a desire to maintain a child’s individuality and offer more outlets for self-exploration. For example, parents do not restrict their child, regardless of a boy or girl, to wear pink or blue, play with Barbie dolls or fire engines. Parents allow their child to freely explore what they are passionate about without attaching any labels. The concept of raising children with gender-neutral identities is considered feminist and extremely radical. Butler (1990) argues that gender is performative, arguing that the naturalness of gender is something that we do rather than something we are. Parents have the most influence on the gendering of children during infancy, foremost in handling expectations for behavior. They are also responsible for their own behavior as it related to the treatment of …show more content…

Without gender, a child may not be able to integrate into society as easy as other children, feeling a sense of disorientation and misplacement. Identity is strongly correlated to the cultural beliefs and social contexts of society, hence affecting gender, since gender is something that is everywhere in our daily lives. Gender entails cultural beliefs at a marco level and also includes the systems of behavior and organizational practices at the interactional level, selves and identities at the individual level (Ridgeway & Correll 2004). According to Ridgeway and Correll (2004), cultural beliefs about gender and their effects in social relational contexts are among the main principles that maintain and change the gender structure. Social relational contexts involve any situation where individuals define themselves in relation to others to understand the situation and act in an everyday interaction. Symbolic interactionism places a lot of significance on the salient of language and social interactions as main features of the development of a sense of self, viewing society not as an external constitution but rather the result of a patterned web of interactions where people interact in countless settings using symbolic communications, and the reality people experience constantly changes (Germov & Poole 2011). According to Stryker and Vryan (2003), symbolic

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