I just learned of one of the newest trends among young parents-to-be: a "gender reveal party."
Of course, such an event would not have been possible in my mother's generation, or even when my peers started having children: No one knew a new baby's gender until he or she was delivered.
But many mothers-to-be claimed to know the gender of the babies they carried. And, more often than not, they were right. I guess the only reason why no one had "gender reveal parties" is that no one wanted to take the chance--and risk the embarrasment--of being wrong.
I'm not sure how I feel about this trend. Then again, I'm not sure how I feel about knowing a child's gender before he or she arrives in this world. I guess it might make it easier to shop and plan. But I wonder whether it starts to influence, before the child is even born, some expectations the parents will have of, and ways they will raise, their children.
And, being a paranoid person who's read Brave New World and 1984, I can't help but to wonder what will happen when prospective parents can learn their child's hair and eye color, or other physical characteristics--or sexual orientation or gender self-identification, let alone possible disabilities--before the child is born.