Would parents deliberately raise a child as a male or female depending on how they weighed the benefits of being of a particular gender? For example, if a couple deems the immunity to the death penalty and the draft as a greater benefit than the right for two women to marry in every state, would they choose to deliberately raise a child—regardless of their sex—as female? It seems rare that parents would do such a thing, but the fact that some state and even federal laws are developed based on a gender or sex binary leaves this child-rearing practice as a possibility. And sometimes this happen, as exemplified in the Nature article “Sex Redefined”. Some parents chose to have their babies, who are too young to consent to medical operations, undergo genital “normalization” surgery to assign their sex based on hormonal levels or other factors. In the future, the child may struggle with gender identity due to a choice that was not theirs.
This brings another question to child-rearing practices—Is it really necessary for parents to raise a child into a gender schema before the child even becomes aware of the concept of gender? Should sex be a determining factor for placing a child within a binary? Since sex appears to be a spectrum due to a variety of differences in sex development (DSD), it seems preposterous to split the spectrum in half before the child has a chance to exhibit an inclination towards one extreme or another.
Perhaps raising a child as genderless would also reduce the perpetuation of gender stereotypes. Parents are more likely to pick “male” and “female” toys for their children once they are assigned a sex, and someone’s son is more likely to be surrounded by sporting and equipment and than someone’s daughter is. However, by allowing a child to grow and develop their own interests, they would not have to fit into a box established by society. But how accommodating is society for this type of parenting? It may take a revamping of its foundational infrastructure, but with less divisions and distinctions established between people, there may be more tolerance and unity among the human race.