BIRTH – Boy Or Girl? In The US, Parents Go Too Far To Know The Sex Of Their Babies

A plane crash in Texas, a deadly explosion in Iowa, a fire in Arizona: lately numerous baby gender revelation parties, a growing trend among parents in the United States, have ended in nightmares.

"It's a girl!". After throwing 350 gallons of pink water, a small plane flying at low altitude suddenly lost speed and crashed into a field in Texas.

Fortunately there were no victims in that accident, which occurred in early September. But a month later, another of those parties, where parents expect their future son's sex to be revealed, had a fatal outcome when a 56-year-old woman from Iowa died after an explosion.

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American parents no longer settle for a more traditional method, such as cutting a cake to reveal, after much suspense, a blue interior if it is a boy or a pink one if it is a girl.

With the rise of social networks, gender revelations have become increasingly sophisticated and "extreme," according to Carly Gieseler, a professor of gender and media studies at New York City University (CUNY).

Gieseler has analyzed the trend of gender disclosure since its emergence in the late 2000s.

What began as an "intimate and small gathering" has become a "huge show, a much bigger matter," he told AFP.

"We have reached the point where you have explosions and fireworks, paratroopers" that appear on Instagram or YouTube.

In Gieseler's opinion, gender revelation parties have become so fashionable in the United States that "almost all parents have expectations of making one."

And specialized companies have begun to emerge, too eager to meet demand.

– "Who cares?" –

Baseball and golf balls that explode in pink or blue powder when they are hit, shooting at targets, balloons, garlands, cakes … "There is a big market," Gieseler said.

These celebrations complement another American custom, that of the baby shower: a party, mainly for women, where a future mother receives a large number of baby items as a gift.

Although gender revelation parties have managed to involve men, they are also accused of reinforcing gender stereotypes.

"Although gender revelation seems to be something cheerful, it has implications in terms of reaffirming the binary gender": male or female, blue or pink, Gieseler said. "Print the fetus who has not yet been brought to the world the idea of ​​being male or female and then all those gender roles and assumptions that accompany it."

Even the woman who is credited with inventing the trend, blogger Jenna Karvunidis, who wrote a post about her party in 2008 when she was pregnant with her first daughter, today thinks she created a monster.

"I had many mixed feelings about my random contribution to culture," he wrote on Facebook.

"Who cares what gender the baby is?" Karvunidis asked in the publication, which has accumulated more than 35,000 "likes."

"I did it at that time because we did not live in 2019 and we did not know what we know now: that assigning gender to the newborn leaves out much of its potential and talent, which has nothing to do with what is between its legs" .

Her publication concluded with a carefully designed family photo, which includes her husband, her dog and her children, and a final revelation: "TURNING THE SCREEN, the world's first gender revelation party was for a girl who wears costumes. ! "

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