Gender reveal parties and the construction of the prenatal gendered environment | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Gender and Media Ecology
  • ISSN: 1539-7785
  • E-ISSN: 2048-0717

Abstract

Expecting parents are often eager to learn the sex of their baby. Gender-reveal parties offer a community or family celebration of that information, often complete with clichéd pink or blue colour coding. Common practices include party games, competitions between Team Boy and Team Girl, and the colourful surprise reveal via confetti, smoke, balloons or food. Not only is the term ‘gender-reveal’ inaccurate (at best sonograms reveal biological sex), the practice privileges stereotypical gender binaries and legitimates pre-birth personhood under the guise of merriment, appropriating the unborn body as a contested discursive site. The gender-reveal party enhances reliance on medical technology and consumerism, retrieves traditional superstitions about pregnancy, obsolesces privacy and reverses into the commodification of both mother and child. Gender-reveals do not necessarily celebrate the pregnancy or the mother. The gender-reveal party functions to reinforce traditional cisgender binaries and constructs gendered expectations for the child even before birth.

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2021-06-01
2024-05-29
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Keyword(s): gender stereotyping; gender-reveal; prenatal; ritual; social media; tetrad
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