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Would you let your little boy wear a dress? spin off of last nights "What would you do" segment on ABC

For those that aren't familiar with the show, basically they set up hidden cameras, hire actors to do some really audacious things to find out what normal, everyday people would do in certain situations.

Last night, they did a segment on "gender identity". They had a man and his son (both actors) come in and have the boy pick out barbie dolls and other girl toys. They had the man pretend to talk his son out of choosing those and more "boy appropriate toys" like trucks or atleast a ken doll. The man had to say it loud enough so other customers would hear. Soon enough, mostly women, in the stores confronted the man. Telling him he should let his son choose whatever toy he wants, if a boy wants to play with a doll, he should be allowed to.

To up the anty, they had another little boy come into the store with his dad wearing a princess dress up dress over his clothes. Another man (also an actor) confronted the father saying things like "are you kidding me? what if he turns out gay?" stuff like that.

I thought this episode was very realistic in terms of how gender identity is such a huge issue nowadays. Boys must wear blue and girls must wear pink, boys must play with trucks and girls must play with dolls, or they will be confused on their gender. This is the stereotype, not saying i buy into it at all. I have 3 girls, so I can't say what i would really do in a situation if i had a boy who wanted to wear a dress. I can easily say it would be okay, but when in that situation im not really sure. I can say for sure though, that if my girls want to play with trucks that is perfectly okay with me. They do not have to play with dolls if that's not what they're into, and when at the store if they would rather have a truck than a doll, fine with me.

Moms of boys, how do you feel about this segment last night? Would you allow your boy to wear a dress, or purchase a doll for him, if that was what he wanted? How would your husband/so feel about it?

You can read the story they wrote about it or watch the video here


Asked by tnm786 at 12:10 PM on Jan. 22, 2011 in Parenting Debate

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This question is closed.
Answers (51)
  • No sorry I absolutely wouldnt let my sons wear dresses. I wouldnt care if they wanted to play with a doll or something like that but when it comes to clothing no way. In the real world people will look down on him if he showed up to work in a dress. Thats life. Its my job as their mother to show them about real life and get them ready to be on their own and what the world is like. I wont send my kids out in the world unprepared.

    Answer by gemgem at 6:18 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • I don't think so, gender identity is adult made, what is proper.. i don't see an issue with kids playing.. Dolls for boys or trucks for girls, they don't see it that way, They see it all as play.. Men can care for an infant/child and women can work on cars, why is that confusing LOL...

    Answer by midnightmoma at 12:31 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • idc if my ds plays with his sister's dolls but i'm not buying a dress for him to wear, he is a boy and i will dress him as a boy

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 1:20 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Well sadly I live with the cave man, who believes if my son plays with dolls he'll turn out gay (rolls eyes) My son, almost 5 is currently taking dance, and he loves it! He also does soccer, swimming, t-ball and basketball. He's obsessed with geotrax but takes care of his "babies" his stuffed animals he's made his children. He likes every color including pink and purple, enjoys painting his nails with markers, and thinks rolling around in the mud and then chasing me trying to get me dirty is the coolest thing ever. He'll ride his 4 wheeler, then turn around and want to jump rope. I encourage every activity he wants to do, and I see him becoming more interested in cars and sports as he gets older, but he has a very gentle and sweat personality that comes along with it. He doesn't find it funny to hit and kick and be rough, but wrestling with his papa is an entertaining game. I just wish I could get my SO off the "gay" comments

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 5:09 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • And to add I don't care if he wants to wear a dress in public, turns out gay, straight, or transgender. Whatever makes him happy in life is what I want for my child.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 5:12 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • I am a mom to 2 boys and if either of them wanted to wear a dress or play with dolls me and my DF are ok with it.

    Answer by LiLJeni at 6:24 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Yes I would let my son wear a dress if thats what he wanted to do...I doubt he would make a habit out of it though - kids tend to try things out and then move on. My son is 3 and he loves pink things. It's only a colour in my mind.

    Answer by keyaziz at 12:14 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • I am disgusted, as expected. I married a big burly truck driver and he was OK w/ his firstborn son entering ballet. And when son was 19. old and daughter was born, son would put her dolls and girlie things in-on-under his trucks/cars, etc etc. Now at 6 he gets in trouble at school for kissing girls. playthings are for spending free time creatively not for shaping who you'll sleep with someday

    Answer by hibbingmom at 12:30 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • My kids can do what ever they please. I read an article in a parenting magazine yesterday that says let kids be kids and do what they want. Dress how they want, play with what ever they want. (mind you it's talking about younger kids) Just becuase they like pink now doesn't mean it will confuse them. How they act now doesn't determine how they will be when they are adults.

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 12:31 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • i havn't watched the episode yet, but i tape it and watch it on sundays. My husband tells our son "real men wear pink!" and he's a good role model for teaching that it doesn't matter what gender it's based on. My son has also grown up learning (and will repeat these phrases...i guess i've said them a lot!) "there are no boy or girl colors, there are just colors", "boys who play house, learn to be good daddies". Now, my son is a real "boys boy" who loves cars, sports and such, but he plays with dolls, kitchen sets, dress up, dollhouses with just as much enthusiasm when his girl friends are over. I've also made all toys availble, not just gender typical. Being a former teacher, i've never seen either gender "confused" by playing with toys that are not specific to that gender. And being a child development specialist, it is not recommemded to have only gender specific toys. That is what confuses kids. cont.

    Answer by boobarandbell at 12:34 PM on Jan. 22, 2011