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
WHO runs the world? Beyoncé. But she wants other women to join in on the fun, too. Queen Bey flew her feminist flag high today ... Full story
- Kazakh volleyball player Sabina Altynbekova so attractive nobody watches the sport anymore
- Beyonce and Jay Z wear matching ski masks in new poster announcing their summer tour On The Run Star
- Shocking new accounts of the carnage at the MH17 crash site have emerged today
- Crash victims survive after car is crushed flat by lorry's shipping container load
- English teacher, 34, arrested for having sex with 17-year-old student seven times
- 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
- Loving Family: Man 'had sex with his sister-in-law so that she could get pregnant rather than getting IVF treatments'
- Dougherty Gang sibling Lee Grace posed naked in XXX photo
- Flight MH17's first pictures of passengers emerge
- Jennifer Lopez suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction live on German TV
- Female 'separatist' posts Instagram selfie with mascara 'looted' from MH17 crash site
- Kangaroo kicks up a fuss in West Texas town, but is it a k-rime?
- Shocking image of toddler sipping a Bud Light at Cleveland Browns tailgate goes viral
- Waitress receives rude note - internet response is epic
- Dontrell Darling: Fla. boy, 9, shot in face in drive-by while sleeping in his home
- High school teacher Carly McKinney, 23, 'tweeted nude photos of herself, called her students JAIL BAIT and talked about getting high'
- Not-so-model citizen: Maxim 'Hometown Hottie' finalist arrested in heroin bust
- 10 ways to improve your body
- Footage of woman with airport alligator shows they took train to Chicago's O'Hare airport
- Mystery of creepy dolls left outside California homes that resemble the little girls who live there
- killer Joseph Rudolph Wood WILL be executed after Arizona court halted lethal injection
- Antonio Brown accused of dangling child from overpass while drunk and dressed as a clown
- White Republican Dave Wilson wins election in inner city Houston after PRETENDING to be African-American in campaign flyers
- Is he a fraud? U.S. marines confront 'fake sergeant major' after military funeral in Florida
- Manchester United 7-0 LA Galaxy: Wayne Rooney, Reece James and Ashley Young doubles ensure perfect start for Louis van Gaal
- Homeowner makes astonishing TV boast about shooting 'pregnant' home invader dead as she pleaded for mercy - as police say her ACCOMPLICE could be charged with her murder
- Catholic girls' school teacher admits lesbian affair with student, 17, after plying her with alcohol
- Peaches Geldof was 'taking methadone and using heroin before death'
- Drunken mockery of U.S. tourists in the wake of 9/11 returns to haunt soccer star Lampard as he prepares to sign for NYC team
- Golfing buddies make parody of Queen's iconic hit Bohemian Rhapsody
- Man can compete against father's GHOST in Xbox racing game Rally Sports Challenge
- Miss Teen Colorado runner up Kristy Althaus turns porn star
- Dan Markel murdered with shot to head as police release photo of Toyota Prius seen nearby
- Man goes to hospital for circumcision, wakes up with no penis
- Pro-Russian looters pulled Tesco binoculars from British MH17 victim's suitcase - but threw them back because they were broken
- Couple killed in Virginia campsite tornado as their son fights for his life
- Steward who changed flights to work MH17 at the last minute had wife who had swapped OFF MH370
- Is this Russian seperatist rebel stealing MH17 victim's ring?
- Marine who was 'having an affair with missing pregnant army wife and had planned a hunting trip with her the day she disappeared' arrested ... but police released him
- 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
- 'Hamas militants' rounded up by Israeli soldiers during Gaza offensive
- MH17 investigators find more bodies and parts of passenger jet
- Indian rape suspects lie beaten after 7-year-old girl found hanging from tree
- Fancy a bite? Woman hauls in massive 143.7kg tuna south of Sydney that is big enough to feed an entire suburb
- Two Hinesville fire fighters injured in explosion Thursday morning.
- Daughter holds 'wedding' ceremony so her terminally ill father can walk her down the aisle
- US weighs refugee status for Central American kids
- Pregnant woman, 27, arrested 'after posting a selfie on Facebook wearing a stolen dress'
- Teacher 'had sex with student in house near middle school for over a year'
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|