Do gender-reveal parties perpetuate stereotypes?

For expecting parents, discovering the sex of their unborn baby can be as exciting as learning about the pregnancy itself.

Over the last decade, gender-reveal parties have become a common trend that has new parents jumping with joy.

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Nevertheless, with a growing consciousness among Canadians about gender nonconformity, celebrating identity before a child is born makes some gender advocates cringe.

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“It’s complicated. Throwing a party about something we don’t know about is not the best way to start a life,” said Jeremy Dias, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity.

“The problem is not the party itself, the problem is the message and personal relationship that it conveys.”

Generally, the result of the sex-reveal ultrasound is handed to a trusted person to orchestrate how parents will find out.

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“People are very creative and really get into it,” lifestyle and parenting contributor Erica Diamond told Global News.

She explained some parents send neutral invitations to then surprise their guests with colour-specific decorations; others prefer building anticipation and revealing the sex once everyone has arrived.

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Some ideas include bursting a balloon or piñata filled with confetti or candy and cutting open a frosted cake to reveal a blue or pink inside.

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“We’re seeing everything from more intimate reveals, where parents simply tell the gender to their kids and grandparents in the kitchen to full-fledged parties organized by event planners,” Diamond said.

Dias pointed out he thinks the hard work mothers put into carrying and delivering their child should be a more important reason to celebrate.

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He insisted that placing importance on gender enforces gender-specific roles in society.

“Inter-sexual stereotypes of masculine and feminine are more problematic,” Dias said.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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