Perusing our friend Timberwraith’s blog, Haunted Timber, I came across an amazing story I had to share. It is about two 24 year old Swedish parents who are raising their child not as a boy or a girl, but as a child. I recommend reading what Timberwraith had to say here. You can go here to read the story in english, or here for some Swedish.

Let me start by saying that this was not intended to be a Pseudoscience Chronicles post (I just enjoyed the story) until I read what one of the interviewees had to say ten paragraphs in. I was shocked at first by what Susan Pinker said (in the english version of the story), but then was not surprised to find out that she is a psychologist and journalist:

“Ignoring children’s natures simply doesn’t work,” says Susan Pinker, a psychologist and newspaper columnist from Toronto, Canada, who wrote the book The Sexual Paradox, which focuses on sex differences in the workplace.’

‘“Child-rearing should not be about providing an opportunity to prove an ideological point, but about responding to each child’s needs as an individual,” Pinker tells The Local.’

It’s ironic how she claims that raising a child should be about responding to each child’s individual needs, then goes on to say we should force children into preconceived gender-roles. If anything, keeping the child’s sex a secret allows the parents to respond to their child’s actual needs rather than the artificial needs implanted by a cultural construction that attempts to fit every single person in the world into one of two restricted categories. So I guess what she was actually trying to say was that child-rearing should only be about providing an opportunity to prove an ideological point if that ideological point is ‘gender exists get used to it’.

Pinker goes on to make some more crazy claims:

‘“I don’t think that trying to keep a child’s sex a secret will fool anyone, nor do I think it’s wise or ethical,” says Pinker. “As with any family secret, when we try to keep an elemental truth from children, it usually blows up in the parent’s face, via psychosomatic illness or rebellious behaviour.”’

Of course, the parents are not keeping any truth from the child (I don’t even know how they would do that). They are simply allowing the child to grow into what it wants to be.  They are responding to their child’s needs as an individual. They are being good parents.

With that, I would like to welcome Susan Pinker to the Pseudoscience Chronicles.

-Bryan Perkins

(Header Image: Hijras India’s Third Gender)