Gender reveal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A white frosted cake decorated with black question marks and Mars and Venus symbols; the cake has been cut open and a piece sits on its side on a paper plate to the right. There are three layers to cake; the top and the bottom layers are off-white and the middle layer is pink.
A gender reveal cake sliced open with a pink middle layer suggesting a female baby

A gender reveal party is a celebration where either the guests, the expecting parents, or both find out the sex of the baby. This has become possible with the increasing accuracy of various technologies of prenatal sex discernment. For example, less than half way through the normal pregnancy, an ultrasound technician can visually determine the sex. If the parents decide they want to have a gender reveal party they will notify the technician before hand so they won't tell them during the appointment if they want to be surprised. There is also an early gender blood work exam that can be done as early as 7 weeks with 95 percent accuracy.

Description[edit]

The gender reveal party can be seen as an analogue of the baby shower, which also employs the trope of pink (denoting a female) or blue (denoting a male) to designate gender. However, it is typically held earlier, near the moment, formerly private, when parents learn the baby's predicted sex. Gender reveal parties also typically are open to men and women, unlike the traditionally all-female baby shower. The rise of the gender reveal party seems "inextricably tied to social media." YouTube searches report that there are "more than 500,000 videos of expectant couples slicing cakes, setting off smoke bombs and bashing piñatas to expose one of two colors: pink or blue". The first public video of a gender reveal was posted on YouTube in 2008.[1] It is said that the trend of gender reveal videos began to emerge on YouTube in mid 2011 and continued to grow in terms of uploads and views from then on. In 2017 there was 60 percent increase on gender reveal views compared to 2016.[2] The methods include the release of balloons from a box, spraying silly string in the air in the color of the gender, and painting the partner's hands and having them place it on a white shirt to reveal the gender to name a few.

Criticism[edit]

Josh Hafner has criticized the term "gender reveal" as a misnomer, as all available tests measure the child's sex, which may be distinguished from gender. Hafner has also criticized such parties for perpetuating gender stereotypes through themes such as "Rifles or Ruffles?" and "Wheels or Heels?".[3]

Gender reveal parties have become much more popular due to cell-free fetal DNA testing being available as early as ten weeks; some are marketed as detecting fetal sex as early as five weeks.[4] The DNA test is non-intrusive as it only requires blood from the mother. Previously, the sex of the unborn baby was determined via obstetric ultrasonography between 16–20 weeks. The tests are not perfectly accurate, and in cases of sex chromosome disorders or other abnormalities of development their results may not match those of fetal ultrasound.[4]

Gender reveals are also seen as a form of ritual according to recent research. "The gender-reveal party is a ritual expression corresponding to such developments in the mediatization of pregnancy announcements with their typical emphasis on gender."[5]  They can also go wrong if they are not done correctly. There have been specific instances reported in blogs as well as the videos posted online. The inside of a box may be empty and the inside of the cake may not have the correct color or it isn't vibrant enough to distinguish the difference. According to religious scholar Florence Pasche Guignard, "it is interesting to ask whether or not someone (the sonographer, the person who baked the cake, or any intermediary person handling the information) will be blamed for a failure, and if the ritual should be repeated or 'repaired.'"[5]

A significant issue is that as many as 4% of infants are intersex (formerly known as androgynous or hermaphrodite), though it is incredibly difficult to determine the frequency of these cases.[6][7]

Critics note the existence of nonbinary gender and reject an essential and inextricable link from sex to gender.[8]

Gender parties are also viewed as vain and unnecessary[by whom?], a holiday championed by party supply companies in order to boost sales.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gieseler, Carly (2017-02-09). "Gender-reveal parties: performing community identity in pink and blue". Journal of Gender Studies. 27 (6): 661–671. doi:10.1080/09589236.2017.1287066. ISSN 0958-9236.
  2. ^ Pasche Guignard, Florence (September 2015). "A Gendered Bun in the Oven. The Gender-reveal Party as a New Ritualization during Pregnancy". Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses. 44 (4): 479–500. doi:10.1177/0008429815599802. ISSN 0008-4298.
  3. ^ Hafner, Josh (March 12, 2017). "Gender reveals: Insanely popular — and also outdated?". USA Today.
  4. ^ a b Drabiak-Syed, Katherine (2010). "Baby Gender Mentor". Michigan State University Journal of Medicine and Law. 14 (1): 71–92.
  5. ^ a b Pasche Guignard, Florence (September 2015). "A Gendered Bun in the Oven. The Gender-reveal Party as a New Ritualization during Pregnancy". Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses. 44 (4): 479–500. doi:10.1177/0008429815599802. ISSN 0008-4298.
  6. ^ Nelson, Caleb; Gearhart, John (2004). "Current views on evaluation, management and gender assignment of the intersex infant". Nature Clinical Practice Urology. 1 (1): 38–43. doi:10.1038/ncpuro0028. PMID 16474465.
  7. ^ Fausto-Sterling, Anne (1993). "The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female Are Not Enough" (PDF). The Sciences.
  8. ^ Butler, Judith (2002-05-03). Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge. ISBN 9781135959937.[page needed]

Further reading[edit]

  • Gieseler, Carly (2018). "Gender-reveal parties: performing community identity in pink and blue". Journal of Gender Studies. 27 (6): 661–671. doi:10.1080/09589236.2017.1287066.
  • Nahata, Leena (2017). "The Gender Reveal: Implications of a Cultural Tradition for Pediatric Health". Pediatrics. 140 (6): e20171834. doi:10.1542/peds.2017-1834. PMID 29175971.