Karbownik: Gender reveal parties, are they worth the danger?


Matt Karbownik, Production Artist

Ever since its founding in the late 2000s, gender reveal parties have been called out by many media outlets as being dangerous social gatherings or unnecessary events that are not worth hosting or attending. With that in mind, are gender reveal parties all that bad, or is it the media over exaggerating the facts?

Before we can dive into the lore of gender reveal parties, some people may not know what these parties are. To put it briefly, gender reveal parties are held during pregnancy to reveal a newborn child’s sex to family, friends and expectant parents. The sex of the child is determined through prenatal sex technology and these parties often play host to special effects, party games and more along with combining other traditional infant/newborn celebrations like baby showers.

It is indeed true that many gender reveal parties have turned chaotic due to some of the people that are hosting and attending these events. Many parties have resulted in massive amounts of land being burned from wildfires due to the poor use of explosives, cars have also been set on fire from burnouts which has put people at risk. Beyond this, dangerous wild animals like alligators can be attracted to these parties due to the commonly used tactic of putting dye in a watermelon to signify the child’s gender. Extreme celebration of gender reveal parties was taken to a new level back April 20, 2021, when a large earthquake surged through New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts because of a massive number of explosives that were detonated. What is worse about these parties is that they have also resulted in millions of dollars’ worth of damage done to the environment and people have either died, been seriously injured or have lost some other valuable property or belongings in the process.

It is not just for this that gender reveal parties get criticized. Most of these parties have also been called out for reinforcing gender stereotypes and minimizing transgender and non-binary identification. All of this can lead to emotional and mental health problems and is something that gender reveal parties must take into consideration.

What Can be Done to Make Gender Reveal Parties Enjoyable, but Safe?

While these parties do get a bad reputation for being dangerous and unnecessary, it does not mean they should be scrapped away completely. To make these parties fun, but safe, there should be stricter rules and harsher punishments enforced by federal, state and local governments for people who attempt to try any dangerous special effect stunts in potentially hazardous environments. Gender reveal parties should also try to steer away from reinforcing gender stereotypes and be more accepting of transgender and non-binary individuals to reduce mental and emotional health problems.

After all that has been described about gender reveal parties, it is more than fair to say that gender reveal parties can be bad, and the media is right to a certain extent in how these parties are unnecessary. However, gender reveal parties (along with other various topics) have still been over exaggerated by various media outlets as they fail to mention what can be done to make these parties enjoyable, all while keeping people safe.

Media outlets also fail to recognize what really causes the chaos and bad reputation behind these gender reveal parties and once again are quick to jump to one-sided conclusions. While some people may never attend or host a gender reveal party, it is still important to know that it is not necessarily the gender reveal parties themselves that are at fault for being unnecessary and dangerous, it’s the people that do dangerous special effect stunts and reinforce gender stereotypes that are to blame for much of the chaos that ensues from these parties.