The Problem With Gender Reveal Parties: Do We Really Need Them?

Person holding sign encouraging use of gender pronouns. (Credit: Unsplash/Alexander Grey.)

The whole notion of "gender reveal" parties was, when I first heard of it, kind of a new thing. When my oldest daughter was born (1982) the ultrasound was a new thing, and in most cases, one didn't know the sex (words have gender, people have sex) of a child until it emerged, kicking and screaming, into the world. Our younger two (1992 and 1996) were at a time when the doctor was pretty sure of the baby's sex via the improved ultrasound, and asked if we wanted to know; we chose the traditional route, to learn at birth.

In the case of our adopted daughter, of course, we were already aware of her status.

But now "gender reveal" parties are a thing, and some (me) find them a mildly annoying way to solicit more gifts on top of the traditional baby shower. And in these modern days of "gender theory," the whole idea has taken an entirely new angle. Over at The Hill, columnist Elizabeth Grace Matthew has some interesting thoughts that are worth consideration:

Although they usually don’t involve celebrity guests, gender reveals — a trend in which a couple learns the sex of their unborn child in a public way — are more popular than ever. In 2019, a company called “Poof there it is!” which sells gender reveal party products, including confetti, streamers and balloons, told The Atlantic that it was participating in about 200 gender reveals a day. If Instagram and TikTok video clips are any indication, the trend has only grown since then.  

Paradoxically, it has at the same time become trendy to believe that sex itself is a social construct.  

That last sentence says several mouthfuls: " has at the same time become trendy to believe." Belief, not data; fantasy, not fact. Wow! That's an amazing admission in some circles these days, which doesn't make it any less accurate:

Today, those who see themselves at the forefront of social and political progressivism believe that the “gender” being “revealed” at these parties indicates only a sex “assigned at birth” — one that could change based on the baby in question’s eventual self-understanding. For them, blue balloons today represent no barrier to membership on a women’s swim team in 18 years, because sex is mutable, based on feelings and preferences.  

Of course, this notion contradicts basic biology. The reality that most people still accept is that sex is chromosomal and dimorphic, and that changing one’s sex is biologically impossible.  

Yes, and this is a drum that I've been beating, that several of my RedState colleagues have been beating, and we will continue to do so. Humans are mammals, mammals are sexually dimorphic, and other than a few very rare genetic abnormalities generally involving polysomy of sex chromosomes, every human is XY (male) or XX (female.) Sex is not assigned at birth, it is determined, genetically, at conception. Also, gender is a term properly applied to language, where sex is biology; words have gender, and people have sex. Although, I admit, a "sex reveal party" on an invite might raise some eyebrows.

These are facts. We've known this for as long as we've known, as a species, where babies come from.

See Related: This Is the Way: Trump Vows to Cut Funding to Schools Pushing Trans or CRT Messaging 

NEW: Texas Children's Hospital Reportedly Has Closed Its Pediatric Sex-Change Clinic (at Least for Now)

Here's the real zinger:

If the pastimes and behaviors deemed typically “feminine” are engaged in by more “people assigned female at birth” than “people assigned male at birth,” gender ideologues allege, it is because we have encouraged them to identify with these pastimes and behaviors, not because they gravitate naturally toward playing “house” as opposed to playing “war.” The reverse is also true: To the extent that “people assigned male at birth” overwhelmingly prefer Batman to Frozen, it is because we have socialized them that way, not because most little boys naturally prefer fighting games to fairy tales.  

This is nonsense, of course. Biology, not socialization, is at the heart of the reality that most boys are different from most girls, not just physically but emotionally. On average, boys are more aggressive and less agreeable than girls. This is not a debate; it is a scientific fact — one reliant not on social norms, but on evolutionary reality. 

The real head-scratcher is that, yes, not "we," but rather some poor kids' parents, are encouraging their kids to engage in the various "transgender" and "gender-neutral" fantasies, while at the same time bemoaning the notion that some people with more traditional notions are buying their boys "Captain America" action figures and their daughters, Barbie dolls. Sure we are - because, by and large, that's what our boys and girls want. 

Our two younger grandsons, one a kindergartener, and the other a pre-schooler, are really into dinosaurs and sharks, respectively. Both of them love toy trucks, too, and spend hours vrooming around the house. Their older sister is into more girly stuff - flowers, pink bedspreads, dolls. That's normal. That's to be expected. Boys are different from girls, biologically, physically, and behaviorally. And these other parents? They are encouraging their kids to believe a fantasy, because in some circles having a "transgender kid" is a status symbol, like having a purse dog was a few years back.

But boys are boys and girls are girls. Men are men and women are women - vive la difference!

These are facts.

And that may be the one positive out of this annoying "gender reveal" trend - at least they are acknowledging the binary nature of human (mammal) sex in these events - at least, we assume, for the most part.

Now, while I share this author's seeming annoyance with the idea of "gender-reveal parties," I don't agree with the piece's headline that these parties "...need to be canceled." People are of course free to do as they please, including the mildly annoying additional soliciting of gifts that comes at a "gender reveal party." The rest of us are free to ignore or decline these invitations, in whatever manner we see fit. It is, after all, supposedly still a free country.

But the whole thesis here, that boys will be boys and girls will be girls, that's a breath of fresh air.

This seems appropriate.



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