Parents raise son as a boy AND a girl so he won't 'grow up aggressive'
- 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
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'
‘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.
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
A high school teacher in Utah has been arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student who was able to accurately describe ... Full story
- Loving Family: Man 'had sex with his sister-in-law so that she could get pregnant rather than getting IVF treatments'
- How NOT to dive off a diving board
- Miss Teen Colorado runner up Kristy Althaus turns porn star
- Tiffany York: Stepfather of girl, 17, killed by soldiers planning to assassinate the President lunges at them in court
- 'No school tomorrow, all the children in Gaza are dead': Far-right Israelis sing sickening chants in the street to celebrate latest deaths of Palestinian infants
- Airports alert over Ebola: Passengers from Africa who show symptoms will be sent to secure isolation units
- The victims of Flight MH17: First pictures of passengers who perished as Putin blames Ukraine for death of 298 innocent souls - but DOESN'T deny Russian separatists shot it down with missile
- 3 men Sebastian Andrade, Cory Ben-Hanania and Kevin McCaffrey charged in death of Johns Creek woman
- Shocking new accounts of the carnage at the MH17 crash site have emerged today
- Verizon boosts FiOS uploads to match downloads
- Kazakh volleyball player Sabina Altynbekova so attractive nobody watches the sport anymore
- Is Hamas using human shields in Gaza? UN finds TWO stashes of rockets hidden in empty school next to makeshift housing for 3,000 displaced Palestinians
- High school teacher Carly McKinney, 23, 'tweeted nude photos of herself, called her students JAIL BAIT and talked about getting high'
- Woman was born with no vagina; can't have sex or babies
- Twitter discloses diversity numbers — most workers are white or Asian
- Pilot Michael James Pascal charged after allegedly groping a sleeping 14-year-old girl
- Catholic girls' school teacher admits lesbian affair with student, 17, after plying her with alcohol
- Flight MH17's first pictures of passengers emerge
- Tiffany Six: Porn star teacher loses appeal to return to the classroom
- The Facebook photo of a high school basketball coach Laraine Cook being groped by her fiance that got her fired
- American doctor Kent Brantly battling deadly Ebola virus says he is 'terrified'
- Obama hauls Central American leaders to White House to order them to stop immigration flood - but they blame HIM for 'ambiguous' policies
- Beyonce recreates iconic Rosie the Riveter feminist poster in new photo shoot
- Black man tries to buy $1300 watch, gets arrested
- Louisa Ball: Real-life Sleeping Beauty who sleeps for two weeks at a time
- Miley Cyrus offered $1million to work on porn movie
- McStay Family Update: Human remains found in Mojave Desert belong to Calif. family missing since 2010, relative says
- Microsoft’s parody of ‘Sexy and I Know It’ is most embarrassing thing ever
- Kylie Jenner and Scott get the finger from rude model
- Manchester United 7-0 LA Galaxy: Wayne Rooney, Reece James and Ashley Young doubles ensure perfect start for Louis van Gaal
- Teens Charles Horton, Joshua Carney Arrested in Athens BB Gun Shootings
- Eat for heart health
- Controversial pastor Arthur Allen dies in house fire
- Jaimie Alexander Goes Without Underwear in Shocking Sheer Dress With Body-Flashing Cutouts: Pictures
- USB security flaw that lets hackers take over computers discovered
- lagos nigeria 23401 ( Nigerian Dating Scam )
- 'MH17 lost speed, altitude and veered 14km off course before being tailed by Ukrainian jet': Sensational claims from Russia who say 'all will be revealed in the black box'
- Lady Gaga 'dumped' by boyfriend as he can't handle her alter-egos
- Congressional staffer Dianne Reidy goes on bizarre rant about Freemasons and God
- Rabbi Noah Muroff finds $100K of forgotten cash in desk bought on Craigslist
- Jenny McCarthy is 'terrified' after screwing over Oprah
- Plastic Container Symbols for Food Grade Plastics
- Faysal Himon, NYC cab driver, avoids charges in accident that left tourist without a foot, report says
- Dr Kent Brantly battling Ebola passes up potentially life-saving experimental serum so his American colleague can have it
- Plans for a reality show about Charlie Sheen's custody war
- UN official breaks down on air as the bloody horror of the Gaza conflict take an obvious emotional toll
- 400-meter asteroid sighted may 'blow up the earth' in 2032
- McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut in expired food scandal in China
- Paulding woman Tina Waddell attacked, seriously injured on Silver Comet Trail
- lagos nigeria 23401 ( Nigerian Dating Scam ) 380
- Pastor Samuel Chapman jailed on child sex charges 79
- Asst. Principal’s Son Chandler Brookins Accused Of Rape In School Bathroom 70
- McDonald's Manager Tiffany Allen Accused Of Punching Customer 68
- Mother Of 5 Wazineh Suleiman Missing After Going To Rent Movie 31
- Teacher Ashley Payne fired for posting picture of herself holding beer on Facebook 29
- 15-Year-Old Held In Girlfriend Angel Freeman's Killing; Gun Found In Creek 26
- New Mexico pastor Gregory Griego, woman, two girls and a boy shot dead during Saturday night shooting spree 25
- 'Wrap your legs around my head': Married Fox weatherman Geoff Fox fired after 'inappropriate' sexting chats with female photographer 22
- Teen Alex Dahm charged with drug possession 21
- Marietta Teen James Glover to be Tried as Adult in beating of a 94-year-old man 20
- Syfy's new show 'Defiance' sucks 20
- Dekalb County Teen Marquis Overstreet Found Shot, Killed, Stabbed 30 Times 19
- Joyriding teens Dustin Surrett, Tessa Upton nabbed in stolen Jaguar 19
- 17-year-old Quavante Combs drowns in Lake Lanier 18
- Husband James Felio Killed By Police After Fight With Wife 17
- James Taylor Named By Colleagues As Pilot From Cockpit Rant 17
- Babysitter Loni Bouchard 'had sex with boy, 14, she was hired to look after' 16
- Suspect In Double Homicide Michael Ntiamoah Is Federal Officer 15
- Police: Woman talking on cell caused crash killing 2 15
- Teacher Shannon Schmieder Sentenced to 40 Years for Affair with 14 Year Old 15
- Police: Ex-Substitute Rene Frank Pregnant With Student’s Twins 14
- Colin Kaepernick: Biological mother Heidi Russo wants relationship with quarterback son she gave up 14
- Teens Sarah Riffe, Michael Perry killed by Jeep in east Georgia town 13
- Gwinnett, Forsyth teens Brandon Hodges, Christian Walker, killed in wreck 13
- Tennessee woman Neena Costanza charged in death of her baby girl by her boyfriend 13
- Teen Demarquis Elkins Arrested in Georgia Baby Shooting Death 13
- Emma Watson suffers wardrobe malfunction night out 12
- Fleeing Driver Adam Sides Hits Officer Head-On During Chase 12
- Smyrna Police Officer Curtis Clyde Cook Fired After Drug Bust 12
- 16-Year-Old Son Charged In Crash That Killed His Mother 12
- 3 Pedestrians Hit, 2 Dead near Interstate 675 in Stockbridge 12
- Atlanta Woman Lashawna Threatt Dies after Fall from W Hotel Room 11
- Florida Man Steven Cozzie Held In Slaying of Georgia Teen Courtney Wilkes in Florida 11
- PICTURED: The assistant Melissa Nelson fired by dentist because she was 'irresistably attractive' and 'threat to his marriage' 11
- Teens Jekari Strozier, Antonio Pass, Johnathan Anthony, Kemonta Bonds charged in death of Mableton man 11
- Teen Cheyenne Sauls Killed In Crash; 17-Year-Old Driver Charged With DUI 10
- Daytona Woman Katie Burson Dies After House Party Shooting 10
- Florida woman Danisa Landaeta arrested for drawing picture of bomb on friend's bag at Miami International Airport 10
- Cops: Mableton Woman Chakaya Folborg stabs sister to death with steak knife 9
- Atlanta Woman Crystal Cross Alleges Beating From Ga. State Patrol 9
- UPDATE: Teen Terry Johnson, Charged In Murder of Shakira Hudson 8
- LA Fitness Manager Juhahn Belcher 's Death Ruled Suspicious 8
- Newnan officer Josh Keller shoots girlfriend in abdomen 8
- Off-Duty Officer Shoots Teen In Nightclub Parking Lot 8
- Dunkin' Donuts employee Melissa Redmond busted for prostitution; sold sex out of restaurant 8
- Teenage Boy Cody Riddle Drowns In Boone Lake 8
- Female Driver Priscilla Johnson Charged After Hitting 3 Teens with Car 8
- Pedestrian Latara Worthy run over, killed in Union City 8
- Revealed: Dramatic pictures of Trayvon's lifeless body as new evidence shows Zimmerman bleeding with 'broken nose' 8
Georgia NewsGet the latest Georgia news, sports, weather, entertainment, business & political news and more from Georgia Newsday.
Rate this article
|PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity||Awkward family photos|
|UPDATED: Faces of Meth||PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter|