I believe the dressing child as X gender and observing responses study has already been done, and yes, people's responses do vary immensely depending on what gender they believe the child is. Though I must admit that they probably didn't include hermaphrodite or intersex in the studies.
Yep, that experiment was done ages back... But I haven't done it!
Ahah! I'm not the only one who gets that on an almost daily basis? Whenever I'm out with Nicholas, everyone we meet addresses him as a girl. When I correct them they always blame it on the curly red hair and blue eyes. Sometimes, especially when it's the old ladies, I haven't the heart to tell them :S
What happens if you refuse to disclose the gender?
("It's a healthy, happy baby and has all its fingers and toes" :-)
I'd imagine people get uneasy. A lot of people find it very difficult to cope when they don't have nice categories to put people in.
Thankyou - some people deserve to be uneasy ;-)
And what happens when you get tired of saying he's a hermaphrodite?
When I was pregnant, I'd sometimes tell people I was abducted by aliens and impregnanted. As I'm single and haven't had sex for a while, it somehow seemed appropriate :)
We focus on the sex basically as something to say I think. But it must be so hard for those with babies whose sex is unclear for whatever reason. They basically would have to pick one and go with it until they work out what would be best for the child (eg many 'boys' with congenitally small genitals have grown up as girls).
I knew an intersex girl (that's how she identified), she was glad her parents hadn't had her operated on as a baby and basically chosen for her, even though it really made her personal life hell.
Yes, these days they';re less likely to operate, and leave it to the child when they get older. If it's not clear, you just can't tell what the combination of genetics, hormones and brain development is going to do, until you ask them when they're old enough to understand (which can be quite young).
It would be so hard though, in this society, to do that!
I like working with colleagues and patients, for whom English is a second (or fifth) language. Many other languages don't distinguish between 'he' and 'she', so often these speakers struggle with the words, and use them interchangeably. It's quite liberating.
Like the Finish people at my work who call everyone "him" ;)
I'd vote for a shrug and 'I dunno.'
I rather like this one :)
I say babies are gorgeous. It covers both sexes nicely and I don't have to pick the sex if I don't know.
What you need is a little baby beanie in, say, silver with blue bobbly spots, the front one of which is on a little springy wand. Then you can just say "Neither - it's a cybernetic organism".
ROFL It doesn't work. My son was the prettiest baby ever born I suspect. Unfortunately, his father had been adamant we should name him Robyn so even those who were careful and asked the baby's name first told me how "beautiful" he was. Every time. Even when I put him in a shirt and tie, and kept his hair cut well above the ears.
And my first born girl was a Kristina... better known in family as Kricket. IN spite of the very feminine name, her crew cut length hair at birth led everyone to tell us how handsome "he" was for months. Even when she was wearing a pink dress.