Are Gender Reveals Worth It?

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Planning for a new addition to the family is incredibly exciting and is definitely something worth celebrating. After all, many families struggle with fertility and having a child. However, the excitement of a new child has led some couples to adopt an increasingly concerning trend: extreme gender reveals. Across the country, gender reveal parties are causing a shocking amount of damage, with some ideas actually leading to the death of several people, both those involved and bystanders. Are extreme gender reveals worth it, or are gender reveal parties overdue for an overhaul?

The Pressure To Perform

In the age of social media, many moms-to-be excitedly look at major digital platforms for inspiration and ideas to celebrate their new baby. Websites like Pinterest are full of extravagant and unique ideas for baby showers, gender reveals, and more. This mentality, over time, has led to businesses catering to these specific types of parties. After all, the bigger the party, the more a company can charge; nowadays, the average party size that a caterer has is between 100 to 250 people. With the positive feedback of social media, many families and companies alike are pushed to outdo the last gender reveal party they saw. With 72% of businesses stating that improving customer experience is their top priority, businesses are unlikely to object to ever-bigger gender reveals, even when some of them can take a dangerous turn.

Exciting Announcements Taking Dangerous Turns

Several gender reveal announcements have been making headlines in recent years due to both their extreme nature and, sometimes, the damage they cause. To make their announcement explosive, some couples are turning to literal explosives, guns, airplanes, and more. There were 24,142,000 general aviation flight hours logged in 2015. However, as expected, these items are often incredibly dangerous, especially when handled by untrained people. As a result, some gender reveals are causing serious damage, with several deaths occurring as a result of gender reveals.

Even less explosive reveals can cause harm if not handled properly. A simple car can pose its own dangers, despite many people having easy access. Some couples will use pink or blue elements to decorate cars to indicate the sex of the expected child – however, these spectacles come at a cost. As many as three million people are injured every year in car accidents on U.S. roads. If gender reveals are done at home with the wrong materials, they can also pose a danger to pets. Most households in the U.S. have at least one pet, and pink or blue smoke, treats, and more can all potentially put pets in harm’s way without careful monitoring.

Gender And Psychology: Do Reveal Parties Cause Harm?

With the amount of risk involved in gender reveals, is the trend actually worth it? Studies show that gender reveals may, in fact, be psychologically damaging to children after birth. With awareness of gender identity and LGBT issues on the rise, many children are recognizing their gender identities earlier in life. The pressure to conform to gender norms, as often reinforced by gender reveals’ popular pink and blue themes, can cause severe psychological distress for trans and gender non-conforming youth. Even Jenna Karvunidis, the mother whose gender reveal post in 2008 sparked the online trend, has mixed feelings about gender reveals today.

Alternatives To Gender Reveal Parties

For families looking to forego gender reveals, there are still plenty of other options to celebrate. Baby showers are often held after gender reveal celebrations, making it easy to simply skip the reveal and instead hold a larger baby shower. Other options can include celebrating the name choice or choices for the child. Large and explosive gender reveal parties are not the only option for celebrating the addition of a new family member. Many alternatives de-emphasize the importance of sex or gender, instead choosing to focus on the importance of the individual.

With dangerous gender reveal trends blowing up across social media, it may be time to retire the gender reveal party in favor of other celebrations. Do you plan on holding a gender reveal for your child, or are you planning an alternative celebration?

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