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Brit couple hid child's sex for 5 years to give 'gender neutral' upbringing

London, Sat, 21 Jan 2012 ANI

London, Jan 21 (ANI): A couple in Britain have revealed their boy's sex now, five years after he was born, because they wanted him to grow without the pressure of gender stereotypes.


Beck Laxton, 46, and partner Kieran Cooper, 44, revealed their child, Sasha, is a boy only because they had to when he started primary school. He now attends lessons wearing a girl's shirt and boy's trousers.


"In the mother and baby group, I said, 'I'm Beck, and this is Sasha'. And of course somebody asked straight away, 'So is it a boy or a girl?' I said, 'I'm not going to tell you'," the Mirror quoted Laxton as saying.


"I discovered later I'd been described as 'that loony woman who doesn't know whether her baby is a boy or a girl'. And I could never persuade anyone in the group to come round for coffee.


"They just thought I was mental. I don't think I'd do it if I thought it was going to make him unhappy, but at the moment he's not really bothered either way," she said.


Web editor Laxton and software designer Cooper even told midwives not to reveal Sasha's sex to them until 30 minutes after he was born.


They encouraged him to play with boys' and girls' toys in their television-free home and he alternated between boys' and girls' clothes, often wearing flowery tops at home.


"He wouldn't say anything because nobody's ever told him flowers are for girls. And I don't see why they should be," said Laxton.


Her partner Cooper says that they have no problem even if their boy wants to dress up in girls' clothes.


"Sasha has cars and Lego - and he also has dolls. We wanted to challenge gender stereotypes so if Sasha wants to dress in girls' clothes then so be it. But we are not forcing it," he said.


Meanwhile, psychologists say that lack of research on the subject makes it difficult to predict any long-term consequences such an upbringing would have.


"It's hard to say whether being raised gender-neutral will have any immediate or long-term psychological consequences for a child, purely because to date there is little empirical research examining this topic," said Dr Daragh McDermott, a psychology lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. (ANI)



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