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Pink, Blue, and Gender-Neutral?

Pink Blue Gender NeutralPink is for girls and blue is for boys. Boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls. That may be true for some parents, but not for gender-neutral parents.

According to Forbes, enforcing gender stereotypes have negative effects on both adults and children. So, gender-neutral parenting is the way to go.

Forbes emphasizes that gender should be of little importance. It is common to impose gender roles and stereotypes on children, but it should be avoided. Instead of saying, “You’re such a strong little boy,” say, “You are so strong!” The same applies to girls. Girls are more than just a pretty face, so focus on other characteristics and qualities, like their intelligence or athleticism. Say, “You are really good at math,” rather than, “You’re good at math for a girl.”

As early as nine months, girls and boys gravitate to toys of their gender. The reason it occurs so early is because of their parents.

If a couple is having a boy, it’s blue everything. Something as simple as that can shape a child’s development, so gender must not be imposed like that.

It is also important to note that toys do not have a gender. If a girl plays with only dolls and makeup, and a boy plays with only trucks and action figures, it limits the skills they develop. For example, if a little boy plays with dolls, he will learn how to be caring and nurturing.

Senior marketing student Nick Campanella believes that we need to stop focusing so much on gender. He said, “I think we’re living in a very emotionally sensitive time. Years ago, nobody cared about gender and people did whatever they want."

We need to stop seeing people as a guy, girl, straight, gay, etcetera, or we’ll never progress in the world," added Campanella.

As Campanella said, it is important to just let everyone be who are they are without labels and stereotypes.

Shannon Lawrence, a junior music industry student, said, "It's fine by me, I think it's really up to the parents whatever they feel is right in bringing up their child. "

One of the last things that Forbes mentions is to let children express themselves and make sure they are safe and comfortable doing so. Regardless of how old a person may be, they should be able to freely express their gender and personality.

"I've always been one to advocate for self-expression and the ability to freely express your true desires and what ultimately makes you happy, so I can definitely understand why parents would choose to bring up their child as gender neutral and why it makes such a big impact on those children," Lawrence added.

Although Eleanor Novek PhD., a professor of communication, does not have children, she said, “Gender-neutral upbringings are fine. Parents need to love their children for whoever they are.”

Senior psychology student Elizabeth Roderick said, "Gender-neutral upbringing allows kids to explore who they are, and what they are interested in. It frees them from societal expectations that boys can’t like dolls, and that girls shouldn’t want to build things. It erases toxic ideas like those that girls should be quiet and polite, and the 'boys will be boys mentality.'"

"Gender-neutral upbringing shows no signs of being detrimental to a child’s development, it actually might help them to become more well-rounded and open-minded people," continued Roderick.

So, don’t be afraid to let children explore who they are, and love them in the process.

PHOTO TAKEN by Alexandria Afanador