I recently completed my obstetrical rotation at a local hospital. I got to work with babies and new parents and it was great.
What really made me wonder ... and we discussed this in a few classes ... Do babies have a gender? Isn't gender something you identify for yourself? (Keeping in mind 'sex' makes you biologically male or female, not 'gender').
According to my sociology text book, gender is "The cultrually and socially constructed difference between females and males found in meanings, beliefs, and practices associated with 'femininity' and 'masculinity'" (Sociology in our Times, Kendall, Murray, Linden, 2004)
I saw parents there throw a fit when their little baby boy was given to them with a pink hat on. Or a white hat. Or blankets even ... ! We had blankets with blue on one side and pink on the other ... But don't dare wrap the baby girl with the blue side out! Girls should be wrapped with the pink side out ... so everyone will know she's a girl.
I was kind of shocked, really.
What do you think? Do you feel you'd treat a newborn boy or girl differently? Is it fair to place such stereotypes on people (infants are people too!) not even a few hours old? Should we be educating parents on the importance of not placing such stereotypes on children or just let them have their baby boy in the nice blue hat?