Home | News | Regional | Parents raise son as a boy AND a girl so he won't 'grow up aggressive'

Parents raise son as a boy AND a girl so he won't 'grow up aggressive'

By
Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
  • Max Price's parents Lisa and Martin are raising their son according to the technique known as 'gender-neutral parenting'
  • Toddler is happy playing with his collection of toy cars and revels in wearing his favourite dresses and tutu
  • Mother Lisa said: 'Gender stereotypes can be so damaging'
  • The couple say they hope their decision will help boost Max's confidence

By Guy Adams and Andy Dolan

PUBLISHED: 17:00 EST, 14 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:11 EST, 14 February 2014

3

View
comments

Max Price's parents Lisa and Martin are raising their son as a boy and a girl so he does not 'grow up aggressive'

Max Price's parents Lisa and Martin are raising their son as a boy and a girl so he does not 'grow up aggressive'

Max Price is a happy, healthy one-year-old boy who spent yesterday morning playing with his vast collection of toy cars, planes, tractors, and dinosaurs.

Dressed in a red checked lumberjack shirt and rust-coloured jeans, he shouted ‘beep beep!’ and giggled with delight while pushing a plastic motorbike around the living room of his family home.

Then, after lunch, a strange transformation occurred.

Max scampered upstairs to his bedroom with his 23-year-old mother, Lisa, and re-emerged several minutes later wearing a dark blue, knee-length dress decorated with pink flamingos.

He swiftly grabbed a blonde-haired doll, sat her in a pink plastic pram, and took her on a short walk, stopping only when it was time to pretend to breastfeed her.

Later in the afternoon, the child collected several more dolls, found a selection of pink toy cups and saucers, and staged an impromptu tea party.

Max, who turns two later this month and lives in Walsall, is being raised according to a radical technique known as ‘gender-neutral parenting’.

It means Lisa and her husband, Martin, 34, encourage him to wear both boys’ and girls’ clothes, and to play with conventionally female – as well as male – toys.

Rather than being worried if he decides not to play football, and asks instead for someone to paint his fingernails with glittery polish,  they instead see it as a form of cute self-expression.

‘If Max wants to wear a pink tutu and fairy wings, then he can wear it,’ says Lisa. ‘He’s just expressing himself. I don’t want to put him in a certain box and treat him that way. I want to teach him to be whatever he wants to be. He can pick his own clothes and, as long as they’re warm enough for the winter, I’ll get him whatever he wants.’

Lisa and Martin live with two elder children – Brandon, ten, and Mia, seven – from Martin’s previous relationship, who are raised along more traditional lines. They also share the terraced home with a hamster called Simon, two cats, Tigger and Pixie, and a German Shepherd called Roxy.

Visitors to the bustling home tend to be surprised, but ‘mostly supportive’, of their decision to pursue gender-neutral parenting.

‘You get the odd funny look, and a bit of hostility, but once we explain how we are bringing our son up, and why, people tend to understand,’ says Lisa.

The couple from Walsall said they love their son for who he is. They are raising Max, who turns two later this month, according to a radical technique known as 'gender-neutral parenting'

The couple from Walsall said they love their son for who he is. They are raising Max, who turns two later this month, according to a radical technique known as 'gender-neutral parenting'

‘I hope that Max won’t get teased when he’s older. But part of what we are trying to do with Max is to instil such a sense of confidence, and a sense of who he is, that he won’t care what anyone else thinks.’

Lisa, a full-time housewife, took the decision to allow Max to identify as either a girl or a boy 12 months ago, after seeing high-profile rape cases being discussed on parenting websites. ‘Gender stereotypes can be so damaging.


'Gender stereotypes can be so damaging. They teach little boys to be aggressive and dominant over women... It's detrimental for them and for females'

- Lisa Price

‘They teach little boys to be aggressive and dominant over women,’ she argues. ‘There’s research out there saying that 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. It’s detrimental for them and for females.’

The decision was fully supported by Martin, an unemployed courier. ‘I think my husband is more of a feminist than I am,’ she says. ‘His biggest concern about the whole thing is usually “does Max have the right shoes to go with that dress!”’

Martin, for his part, adds: ‘My parents told me that I played with my sister’s dolls as a child and it doesn’t bother me. I can’t see why it would bother anyone.’

They are adamant that Max has thrived under the gender-neutral regime, pointing out that he is able to string three or four-word sentences together, and is ‘almost’ potty-trained.

The concept of gender-neutral parenting first became popular among feminists in America during the 1970s, when it inspired the actress Marlo Thomas to write a best-selling children’s book called Free To Be… You and Me. Recently, it has experienced a small revival.

Max Price is being raised as a boy and a girl, according to the technique called 'gender-neutral parenting'
Max Price is being raised as a boy and a girl, according to the technique called 'gender-neutral parenting'

Write caption here

In 2011, a Canadian couple made headlines after refusing to reveal the gender of their new-born child Storm in what they called ‘a tribute to freedom and choice’.

The following year, a Cambridgeshire couple, Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper, revealed they were raising their child Sasha as gender neutral to allow his or her ‘real personality’ to shine through.

In normal circumstances, Max would be required to start wearing gender-specific clothes when he starts at school. However Lisa and Martin have a contingency plan that will allow him to continue dressing as he pleases.

‘We’re planning on home educating Max,’ says Lisa, who was herself home-schooled. ‘However, if he does eventually choose to go to school, and wants to wear a girl’s uniform, I certainly won’t stop him.’

She adds: ‘It doesn’t matter if he’s homosexual, bisexual, transsexual or asexual as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t give birth to him to say “I’m only going to love you if you’re this way”. I love him for who he is.’

MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS

MOST READ NEWS

 

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (0 posted)

total: | displaying:

Post your comment

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Quote

Please enter the code you see in the image:

Captcha
  1. Teens Jekari Strozier, Antonio Pass, Johnathan Anthony, Kemonta Bonds charged in death of Mableton man (5.00)

  2. Doctors cure leukemia in a few patients by altering their blood cells (5.00)

  3. Emily Whitehead: The cancer girl cured by using HIV virus to re-wire her immune system (5.00)

  4. Bigfoot-like beast has hikers running scared in Utah's Provo Canyon (5.00)

  5. Joe Biden Shotgun: YouTube video appears of women trying (and failing) to take his 12-gauge advice (5.00)

  6. Guide dog saves man and woman from swerving vehicle (5.00)

  7. 'Proof' Jesus was married found on ancient papyrus that mentions how son of God spoke of his wife and Mary Magdalene (5.00)

  8. Does Febreze Air Effects give odors the boot? (5.00)

  9. How your dog can read your mind: He'll steal food when he knows you won't look - and can tell you're going out from your make-up (5.00)

  10. He sure took his time: Scientist who spent 15 years inspecting women's breast claims they are 'better off without bras' (5.00)

  11. Rihanna's Dad Sells Pictures of Teenage Rihanna, 'Secret Family' to Tabloids (5.00)

  12. Octomom poses nude and now goes on welfare to help 14 kids: report (5.00)

  13. Bieber 'thrown out of Paris hotel for bad behavior' (5.00)

  14. Lindsey Vonn waits in car for ONE hour to avoid run in with Tiger's ex-wife Elin Nordegren (5.00)

  15. Ashley Judd dress (5.00)

  16. Hulk Hogan’s daughter Brooke engaged to Cowboys center Phil Costa (5.00)

  17. Hospitality executive Tom Sponseller found dead in office garage in apparent suicide (5.00)

  18. Texas Man Larry Dunn Jr stabbed girlfriend who told him she had HIV to death (5.00)

  19. Driver Services Location in Warner Robins, GA (5.00)

  20. Fashion publicist Raul Barrera found guilty of murdering and mutilating his girlfriend after she tried to break up with him (5.00)

  21. 29-year-old Texas man Thomas Olivas 'killed ex-girlfriend, 26, and burned baby boy over child support payments' (5.00)

  22. Florida woman Jillian Martone 'attacks man with kitchen knife after first date for refusing to be her boyfriend' (5.00)

  23. Catholic school custodian John Martin admits to using hidden cameras to spy on students (5.00)

  24. Church shooting in Pennsylvania leaves 4 dead, 2 injured (5.00)

  25. New York Jewish counselor Nechemya Weberman sentenced to 103 years for sexual abuse (5.00)

  26. Desperate search for two missing Boy Scouts Bradley Nelson, Jackson Chandler after wilderness hike (5.00)

  27. Tenn. Man Randolph Maidens Charged With Murder in Wife's Death (5.00)

  28. DUI suspect Sherri Wilkins 'drives more than 2 miles with man she fatally struck stuck in the windshield of her car' (5.00)

  29. Little Falls Man Byron Smith Accused of Killing Two Teen Burglars, Not Reporting Shooting (5.00)

  30. Oregon couple Christopher Martin and Jessica Stroble accused of sex acts on Vegas-bound flight (5.00)

  31. Barrow Co. firefighter Willie Etheridge Jr. fired after being charged with child porn (5.00)

  32. Morgan Lide: Cobb County high school student dies during study abroad (5.00)

  33. Suspect Brian Levern Gupton sought in fatal shooting at DeKalb apartment complex (5.00)

  34. Clayton Jerrod Ellington: Death penalty tossed out in Ga. triple murder case (5.00)

  35. Ruben Marin-Garibay arrested in fatal hit-and-run of Henry Co. officer Elgin Daniel (5.00)

  36. Guard Larry Stell fatally stabbed at Telfair State Prison (5.00)

  37. 'Hunger Games' sequel gives boost to Ga. economy (5.00)

  38. Mural of nude women in Atlanta to be covered up after community outrage (5.00)

  39. Sources: Andrea Sneiderman indicted in husband Rusty Sneiderman's death (5.00)

  40. Co-workers Michelle Chinnis, Tracy Downer killed in horrific tractor-trailer wreck (5.00)

  41. Matthew Pike, William Slaton, Daniel Slaton indicted in death of man found floating in Ocmulgee River (5.00)

  42. Clayton County Man Craig Davis faces charges of exposing two women to HIV (5.00)

  43. Teacher Shannon Schmieder Sentenced to 40 Years for Affair with 14 Year Old (5.00)

  44. Shopkeeper Atibi Thomas faces 25 years in prison for 'shooting' policeman Keith Roach whom he thought was a criminal (5.00)

  45. 6 charged with killing Norcross teen Nicholas Jackson (5.00)

  46. Teacher Almarcus Thomas accused of statutory rape, videotaping student (5.00)

  47. Augusta teen Kyle Austin Royal found shot to death in car in east Ga. (5.00)

  48. DA to review role of victim's widow Andrea Sneiderman in Ga. killing (5.00)

  49. Parents: School Bus Driver Watched Teen Girls Fight (5.00)

  50. Tire blowout suspected in crash that killed 12-year-old Devin Pierce in Douglasville (5.00)

Georgia News

Get the latest Georgia news, sports, weather, entertainment, business & political news and more from Georgia Newsday.
 
  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Rate this article

0
 
 

Photo Galleries

PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity Awkward family photos 
 
UPDATED: Faces of Meth PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter

More galleries ››

 
 
 
 
Weather for Atlanta, GA, US
Now
72°F
Windchill: 72°F
Cloudy
Georgia Weather
Thu
High: 81°F
Low: 67°F
Scattered Thunderstorms
Georgia Weather
Fri
High: 82°F
Low: 68°F
Scattered Thunderstorms
Georgia Weather