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December 18 2018

What Happened When a Family Tried to Raise Gender-Neutral Kids?

by Charlotte Hays

A Raleigh, N.C. family was determined to bring up their three children in a gender neutral environment.

The Washington Post (subscription required) profiled the couple, Brian Campbell and Bonnie Melton, who married in 2008. They have three children.

They had special incentive because Brian's father apparently was a macho man who wanted his son to play sports and study engineering (Brian is a video animator).

So how did that gender neutral stuff work out?

But no matter what Bonnie and Brian did, what happened looked a lot to them like nature taking over. The first time the family went to the local children’s museum, the parents laughed as 3-year-old Toni discovered princess dresses for the first time. She pulled them on with astonishment, as if to say, “Can you believe this?” Eliot, not yet able to talk, toddled away from her and right over to the train table.

“It’s funny,” Brian says. “I feel like I read stuff and listen to interviews with people that are like ‘Disney executives are driving little girls to want princess dresses!’ And I’m like, ‘Nope, little girls love this, and Disney’s making money off it.’ ” He laughs. “They just gravitated toward those things. They like what they like.”

Worse was a camping trip:

At the spring outing, Brian and the other dads were setting up camp. The boys in Eliot’s group picked up sticks and started sword fighting. As other groups showed up, the boys ran to the woods, formed two sides, and started a giant game of war.

For Brian, it’s like watching a kitten stalking something. It’s just natural boy behavior. “I think some people see that as an unnatural behavior in boys, that it’s somehow dangerous, especially with school shootings,” he said.

Hot Air notes that the parents have been able to accept their children's behavior:

Of course, there is a certain breed of progressive who considers all gender norms to be harmful and the work of society. There are even some parents on the fringe who are raising their children to choose their own gender when they get older. But this family, which started out trying to give their kids space to be whoever they wanted to be, have found their kids fit a lot of the gender stereotypes of both boys and girls. It’s nice to see someone willing to risk the wrath of the ideologues to say so.

It's also interesting that the Washington Post was willing to report on the innate gender characteristics displayed by the Campbell children





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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