Gender Reveal Parties Become More Extreme As Parents-To-Be Enlist Alligators, Firefighters, And Archers

Gender Reveal Parties Are Getting Extreme Gender reveal parties–in which couples discover whether their unborn child is male or female via pink or blue cakes, balloons, and other products–were...

Gender Reveal Parties Are Getting Extreme

Gender reveal parties–in which couples discover whether their unborn child is male or female via pink or blue cakes, balloons, and other products–were virtually unheard-of ten years ago. Now, gender reveal parties are part of a booming industry, and one facing criticism for promoting competitive behavior.

In one over-the-top example, an expectant dad fed watermelons to an alligator in his backyard. After a few failed attempts, the alligator finally chewed through the watermelon to reveal blue inside–the couple was having a boy. In other cases, couples have hired archers and even local firefighters to participate in gender reveal stunts.

Carly Gieseler, a professor at the City University of New York, wrote a research paper about the gender reveal phenomenon. The more outlandish gender-reveal stunts may be the result of pressure expectant parents feel to compete on social media, Gieseler told CNN.

“The reveals get crazier and crazier. It really is a fascinating thing, but it’s directly tied to social media,” Gieseler said. “I think there’s a competitive edge to a lot of people. Social media displays that, and it fuels the fire.”

But gender reveal parties that go too far can have serious consequences for both the parents and society at large. In 2017, Dennis Dickey, a Border Patrol Agent living in Arizona, shot a rifle at a target filled with explosive tannerite as part of a gender-reveal stunt. He ended up igniting a wildfire in the Coronado National Forest. The fire cost millions of taxpayer dollars to control, and Dickey and his wife were ordered to pay more than $8 million in restitution.

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