Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Pink Is Raising Her Kids Gender-Neutral, & People Are Seriously Furious About It

Ad failed to load

Where there is an outspoken, progressive parent, you better believe that there will also be criticism — especially if the parent in question also happens to be an international star. After Pink opened up to The Mirror last week about raising her kids in a gender-neutral household, plenty of people attacked the Beautiful Trauma singer online, with accusations of child abuse and proclamations that she lived in a "clown world" or that her daughter would come to need years of therapy in the future. But the fact of the matter is, science supports Pink's decision — and being raised in a gender-neutral household is great for kids in a number of ways, regardless of their gender identity or sexuality.

"We are a very label-less household," Pink, who is raising 6-year-old Willow and 11-month-old Jameson with her husband Carey Hart, told The Mirror over the weekend. "Last week Willow told me she is going to marry an African woman. I was like: ‘Great, can you teach me how to make African food?’"

Pink also praised her daughter's school for having gender-neutral bathrooms and had very few good things to say about President Trump (or, OK, none at all). But what critics really focused in on were Pink's comments about raising her kids in a "label-less" household:

Ad failed to load

Note: the following tweet is not only transphobic, but it's also incorrect. Gender identity is independent from sexual orientation.

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load

A lot of the criticism, however, seems to come from a confusion about what gender-neutral parenting really entails. It's not, first of all, an attempt to raise children as androgynous — it's simply allowing kids to enjoy an upbringing free of gender stereotypes as they grow up, which means letting kids of any gender pick the toys they want (whether that's LEGOs or Barbies), the clothes they want, and the activities they'd like. It frees them from the constraints of common gender stereotypes and lets them grow up feeling secure in who they are and supported by their family.

Ad failed to load

Pink and other proponents of gender-neutral parenting aren't forcing a specific gender or sexuality onto their kids, and in fact, research shows that a large majority of children — 85 percent — raised in gender-neutral homes go on to identify as heterosexual adults (not that heterosexuality is better than any alternative outcome). Research continues to point to a strong genetic basis for both sexual orientation and gender identity, which means being raised with the freedom to explore the world unconstrained by gender won't "make" a child gay or trans, as many critics of gender-neutral parenting like to say it will.

Instead, gender-neutral parenting gives children who are LGBTQ or heterosexual a space to feel supported and safe, which is one of the best ways to raise psychologically healthy children. Because research shows that the real risk for harming children comes when parents don't accept children's gender-nonconformity.

"In many families, due to cultural and religious backgrounds, these youth are faced with resistance and anger, and many become depressed and suicidal because of feeling rejected," Victor Fornari, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York, told WebMD.

Ad failed to load

And guess what? There are myriad benefits for heterosexual, gender-conforming kids raised in gender-neutral households, too. It helps free young kids of gender stereotypes that limit them, such as expecting boys to be tougher (and thus less able to talk freely about their emotions) or expecting girls to be bad at math. Entrenched gender stereotypes affect how we talk to — and interact with — children starting incredibly early on, with adults treating baby girls and boys differently when kids are as young as 3 months old.

What Pink and other gender-neutral parenting advocates are doing is simply freeing kids of those gendered expectations and giving them space to become whoever they'd like. And isn't that the sort of acceptance we should all aim for?

Ad failed to load

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Things That *Will* Go Wrong Every Time You Plan A Kid-Free Night

The last time my husband and I went out to dinner alone was… actually, I can’t remember. But I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen a movie in a theater in the last year. Before we had children we used to go out all the time. But even with …
By Liza Wyles

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack