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Couple Decides To Keep Baby's Gender A Secret To Protect Them From 'Unconscious Bias'

The rise of gender fluidity and shifting gender norms has caused many parents to question how gender will play a role in raising their child.

While some still embrace the traditional blue for boys and pink for girls, others are rejecting the notion of gender altogether.

When a couple first announces a pregnancy, one of the first questions people ask is whether they are having a boy or a girl.

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Everyone is always so excited to know!

Some cultures even have special ceremonies or traditions depending on whether the baby is a boy or a girl.

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Certain names or gifts will be given to the baby based on its sex.

In North America, it's become a popular tradition for expecting parents to hold gender reveal parties.

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The parties and gender reveal announcements have become popular ways for people to share on social media whether they are having a baby boy or girl.

Still, there are many parents who choose to wait until the baby's birth to find out the gender.

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Gender-neutral baby items and nursery decor have become more popular for this reason.

And gender-fluid fashion and identities for adults have worked their way into the mainstream.

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The conversation surrounding gender and biological sex is shifting, and even parents are starting to weigh in.

Either way, it's really up to the parents to decide if they want to find out a baby's gender before the birth.

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The issue of gender reveal parties has come under some criticism from people who say it plays into stereotypical gender roles.

To avoid some of these stereotypes, one couple, Hobbit Humphrey and Jake England-Johns, have decided to keep their child's sex a secret.

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The couple from Bath, England explained their decision in a recent television interview with the BBC.

Hobbit first began worrying about the issue of her baby's gender when she was pregnant.

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"When I got pregnant we then were having a discussion about how we were going to mitigate the unconscious bias," Hobbit said.

The couple decided not telling people what their baby's gender is would protect them from "unconscious bias" from strangers.

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Even though their baby is nearing their first birthday, very few people know their biological sex.

They refer to their child using the pronouns "they" and "them", although the parents said the baby can choose their preferred pronouns when they're older.

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"Gender neutral refers to us trying to behave neutrally towards the child, rather than trying to make them neutral,” Jake said in an interview with the BBC.

The couple even hid the baby's sex from their own grandmother, who didn't find out until the baby was 11-months-old.

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Speaking to the BBC, grandmother Camille said not knowing was a "learning curve," but she quickly adapted.

Camille went on to explain that the most difficult part was getting used to using "they" as a pronoun.

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She said she would go back and forth between "he" and "she" until using "they" became second-nature.

Hobbit and Jake said people can be a bit uncomfortable when they say they aren't telling people the baby's sex.

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But the couple has said they've become used to dealing with the questions and people's reactions.

Hobbit and Jake let their baby wear girls' and boys' clothing.

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They plan on keep their baby's sex a secret and using the they/them pronouns for as long as possible.

Ultimately, these parents just want their child to have their own identity.

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"We're not trying to make them be anything, we just want them to be themselves," Jake said.

h/t: BBC