A couple is attempting to raise their one-year-old son as a boy and a girl in order to avoid ‘gender stereotyping’.
Max Price is dressed in both male and female clothes and is encouraged to play with a range of toys including dolls, which he pretends to breast feed on occasions.
His parents told the Daily Mail that they are using a technique called ‘gender neutral’ parenting – a practice that has been criticised as “misguided”.
Max’s mother Lisa wants her son to identify as being either a boy or a girl because: “Gender stereotypes can be so damaging”, she claims.
Max will be home schooled, but Lisa said she won’t stop him wearing a girl’s school uniform if he eventually goes to school.
She said: “If Max wants to wear a pink tutu and fairy wings, then he can wear it”.
Lisa added, “the whole ‘boys will be boys’ thing basically teaches lads that it’s OK to be a certain way, because it’s in their nature to be aggressive”.
The UK Editor-in-Chief of fashion magazine ELLE, Lorraine Candy, said that some parents often use the practice of gender neutral parenting as a platform for “political beliefs”.
Candy who initially let her son dress in girls clothes until the age of five said, “many of these attempts to unburden children from the constraints of gender are misguided”.
A little over two years ago, another couple also made headlines for raising their five-year old son Sasha as “gender neutral”.
They posted videos and pictures online as part of a wider ‘experiment’ to see if their son would bypass gender stereotypes.
But Candy argued that the experiment was not fair to Sasha.
She said: “He has been hailed as an experiment in breaking stereotypes, but who would want to expose their child to possible derision for the sake of their political beliefs?”
“Apparently, all children need to ‘belong’; they crave positive recognition as they develop between the ages of three and seven. They seek the approval of their peer group to make them feel secure so they can develop with confidence”, she added.
Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, an American campaigning group, said: “A person cannot choose whether they are male or female, that is something that is intrinsic in their body at birth.”