Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue: How to Raise Your Kids Free of Gender Stereotypes by Christia Spears Brown

Studies on gender and child development show that, on average, parents talk less to baby boys and are less likely to use numbers when speaking to little girls. Without meaning to, we constantly color-code children, segregating them by gender based on their presumed interests. Our social dependence on these norms has far-reaching effects, such as leading girls to dislike math or increasing aggression in boys.

In this practical guide, developmental psychologist (and mother of two) Christia Spears Brown uses science-based research to show how over-dependence on gender can limit kids, making it harder for them to develop into unique individuals. With a humorous, fresh, and accessible perspective, Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue addresses all the issues that contemporary parents should consider–from gender-segregated birthday parties and schools to sports, sexualization, and emotional intelligence. This guide empowers parents to help kids break out of pink and blue boxes to become their authentic selves.

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Christia Spears Brown is an author, researcher, and professor of Developmental Psychology. She is also the Director of Center for Equality and Social Justice at the University of Kentucky. She earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin. Brown began her academic career on the faculty of University of California at Los Angeles.

Her research focuses on how children develop gender and ethnic stereotypes, how children understand gender and ethnic discrimination, and how discrimination and stereotypes affect children and teens’ lives. As part of her research on  discrimination, she also examines the perpetration and acceptance of sexual harassment and how children understand politics, public policies, and societal inequalities.

In addition to peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, she has written several books, including one for an academic audience, Discrimination in Childhood and Adolescence, and one for parents, Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue, and co-edited the Wiley Handbook of Group Processes in Children and Adolescents. She has a forthcoming book, Unraveling Bias: How Prejudice Has Shaped Children for Generations and How to Break the Cycle.

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