Why gender reveals have spiraled out of control


September 13, 2020

Jenna Drenten, Loyola University Chicago

(THE CONVERSATION) Over Labor Day weekend, two expectant parents didn't get the viral hit they had hoped for.

During a gender reveal party in Southern California, a "smoke-generating pyrotechnic device" was supposed to simply reveal a color – pink for a girl, blue for a boy – before a crowd of onlookers.

Instead, it sparked a wildfire that has scorched more than 10,000 acres of land.

As a sociologist who studies how social media is used to navigate gender, identity and life transitions, I've watched gender reveal parties become their own min...

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