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Columnist calls gender-neutral parenting a “modish folly”

By Ross Semple

A columnist has hit out at the practice of gender-neutral parenting in a piece for Metro.

“I’m a fairly forward-thinking, hippy daytime daddy, who wouldn’t dream of indoctrinating my cherished offspring with old-hat, stereotypical notions of clothing, or prescribe him ‘boyish’ toys to play with.”

He levels much of his criticism at the ‘Let Toys Be Toys’ campaign, which calls for retailers and manufacturers to “stop limiting children’s interests by promoting some toys and books as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys.

“Isn’t it time that shops stopped limiting children’s imagination by telling them what they ought to play with?”

He seems to be under the impression that the campaign and the people who support it are somehow against the idea of a child playing with the toys that have been specifically marketed towards their gender, when the opposite is true.

“I know some of you will be frothing at this outrage, but is it really so hard to acknowledge biological differences (bone structure, sex organs etc) as a legacy of human evolution and not behavioural differences?”

“And moreover, as a harried dad (non-parents, once again, feel free to stick a fork in a plug socket), I give my darling little imp certain types of toys because if I don’t, he’ll scream bloody murder at me until I do.”

Hill cites one study which found that children tend to gravitate towards toys that are marketed to their gender.