Should You Raise a Gender-Neutral Son?

As a new parent, you may be wondering if you should raise your son in a gender-neutral way or even as a “theyby.” Theyby is a new term referring to a baby raised without gender assignment, using gender-neutral pronouns to allow the child to choose their own gender identity. This parenting approach has gained popularity recently as a way to support gender diversity and self-determination.

I was inspired to examine this topic after reading a list of unique gender-neutral baby names. Names like “Jupen” and “Reiven” got me thinking about setting kids up for success no matter where they land on the gender spectrum. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of gender-neutral parenting.


  1. Promotes equality. Exposing boys to both ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ toys, clothes, and activities promotes the idea that things aren’t inherently gendered. Getting them involved in cooking, cleaning, and childcare lays the groundwork for raising men who see women as true equals and share domestic duties. For example, Jax, a 5-year-old from Seattle who loves playing with dolls, painting his nails, and baking, has learned to confidently shrug off teasing from peers thanks to his parents’ encouragement.
  2. Encourages exploration. Letting your son try ballet, painting, coding, or even football if he shows interest allows him to discover his true passions, not just those deemed “appropriate.” This leads to well-rounded kids who are comfortable being themselves. Child psychologist Dr. Amanda Smith agrees, “Gender-neutral parenting leads to children who feel free to pursue their diverse talents.”
  3. Teaches empathy. This parenting emphasizes emotional intelligence and open communication. It creates sensitive boys who understand others and express themselves healthily – the key to ending toxic masculinity. Gender-neutral sons are often more respectful of women’s rights and boundaries.
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  1. Can invite teasing. Schools can still be minefields for kids who don’t fit gender stereotypes. Be proactive in addressing potential bullying by building your child’s confidence and giving them responses to unkind remarks. Role-play scenarios to prepare them.
  2. Sends mixed messages. Your child’s peers may have binary gender roles at home, contradicting your neutral approach and causing confusion. Maintain open dialog to help them process conflicting messages from peers and media.
  3. Lacks role models. There are few mainstream examples of gender-neutral people. Surround your child with a diverse community of peers and mentors to normalize their experience.

There’s no right answer, as every child and family is different. Some believe this approach allows children to develop without gender stereotype limitations. Others think gender is innate, not shaped by parenting choices.

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If you try it, consistency and clarity are key. Both parents must align to avoid mixed messages. Prepare for lots of talks to help your child process feedback and feel confident in their identity. Most importantly, let them discover their authentic self.

Above all, give unconditional love and teach respect. With proper support, your child can grow into a progressive, enlightened person, comfortable in their own skin. Raising a confident, kind, and self-aware human – that’s a universal goal for any parent today.




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Eddie is a writer covering men's lifestyle topics for Unfinished Man. With a business degree and passion for writing, he provides reviews on the latest cars, gadgets, and other interests for today's man. Eddie crafts entertaining and informative articles aimed at helping readers live their best lives.

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