Gender Reveal Parties
Revealing More Than Gender: Ideological Underpinnings of Fetal Sex Celebrations - Flora Oswald, Amanda Champion, Kailie Brown, Kari Walton, & Cory L. Pedersen
“Gender reveal parties” (GRPs) - parties designed to celebrate the revelation of an unborn baby’s gender – are a relatively new phenomenon which is highly visible and popular online. This phenomenon has been criticized for reinforcing rigid gender-role beliefs and stereotypes and perpetuating binary conceptualizations of two genders. The present study examines ideological and individual factors predicting involvement in GRPs. We hypothesized that endorsement of traditional gender roles, as well as endorsement of transphobia, would predict involvement in GRPs. Further, we hypothesized that heightened social media engagement would predict an increased likelihood of engaging with the gender reveal trend. In a sample of 222 parents and expectant parents, we found that parents who engaged with GRPs endorsed less egalitarian gender-role beliefs and more transphobic attitudes than those who did not engage with GRPs. Moreover, increasing social media usage and more positive attitudes towards GRPs were associated with an increased likelihood of engaging in GRPs. These findings lend justification to criticisms of GRPs as reflecting problematic ideologies of gender and suggest that the notion of these celebrations as simply good fun should be taken with caution.
Oral presentation delivered at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Virtual Conference, 2020.