5 Reasons Why Asking, “Is It A Boy Or A Girl?” Makes Me Cringe

Written by Sakshi Bajpai
Last Updated on

I haven’t met a single mom-to-be who has not answered the age-old question, “Are you having a boy or a girl?” Normal, right?

Well, I hate to break it to you, but this question that we brush off as common is cringe-worthy in all of its forms, such as:

“Do you know the gender?”

“Do you know what you’re having?”

With ‘gender reveal’ parties taking a boom in the U.S., I wonder where we are heading to (1). Go to YouTube; you’ll find a plethora of home videos of couples making the reveal to their family and friends, at a party embedded with stereotypical decorations (blue and pink).

Isn’t it baffling that throughout your pregnancy instead of answering questions like, how the pregnancy was going, or if the baby is healthy or how does it feel like to be a parent; people have reduced it to mere genders? Maybe people mean well. But, in a society where gender roles are sacrosanct, I wonder how many of these questions come from a generous place of authentic curiosity.

Here are 5 reasons why the question “Are you having a girl or a boy?” makes one cringe.

1. Because Intersex People Exist Too

In the question of whether it is a boy or a girl, where do you see the intersex fit? Exactly – nowhere. In fitting to these societal expectations, we are erasing an entire set of biological identities, and that is not okay. Not only is it repulsive, but it also results in the medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex infants (2).

2. Because Biological Sex And Gender Are Different

We have all been guilty of using the words “sex” and “gender” interchangeably at some point in our lives. But, guess what, they are entirely different. No, this isn’t exactly a new revelation by a bunch of hippies. Scientifically, naturally or traditionally, sex has never equalled gender. A big reason could be that “sex” somehow became a less socially acceptable term, so people started using “gender” instead. Technically, sex defines the chromosomes that form a foetus, but gender identity is something that an individual develops with age (3). Since genitals don’t determine one’s gender, you would not know your child’s gender identity until they’re old enough to tell you about it.

3. Because Stop Touching My Baby Bump

Because Stop Touching My Baby Bump
Image: Shutterstock

I have encountered numerous people who come up to pregnant women and instantly put their hands on their stomachs, without even bothering to ask. What I fail to understand is why many people consider this to be normal. Why would you touch someone, pregnant or not, without their permission?

4. Because Gender Is Not Binary

Just like there is not a predefined way to determine a biological male, female or intersex sex; similarly gender identities are not pre-defined and come in different flavours. We must stop associating the age-old pastel blue and pink colours to babies now, right?

5. Because Who Cares?

Because Who Cares
Image: Because Who Cares

The main concern for any couple is having a healthy baby, whether it’s a boy, girl, or a transgender. So, instead of decorating the baby room in only-blue or only-pink, try celebrating your baby with all colours. It might be a good idea to replace your “gender reveal” parties by “going-to-be-new-parents” parties. Do not stress yourself wondering about the gender identity of your baby; they’ll tell you who they want to be when they’re ready.

Gender is just one aspect of a child. As parents and adults, we must pay attention not to project the gender binary onto children and treat everyone equally. And, if you do have authentic concerns for the new-mom-to-be there are several other questions, you can ask.

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Sakshi is a Linkin Park fan who does content designing, in that order. She has over 4 years of experience in content writing, copywriting, and blogging for digital media with specialization in Travel, Pop Culture, Beauty, Healthcare, and Food.

Read full bio of Sakshi Bajpai
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