The Baby Who Had No Gender

Beyond the online condemnation for two Toronto parents who reportedly refuse to make public the gender of their youngest child, there's a deeper question on how gender forms, scientists say.

What's the Latest Development?


In order to keep gender-based stereotypes from affecting their youngest child, named Storm, a Toronto couple is refusing to tell anyone "its" gender. "'We thought if we delayed sharing that information, in this case, hopefully, we might knock off a couple million of those messages by the time Storm decides Storm would like to share [his or her gender],' Storm's mom Kathy Witterick told the Toronto Star." Katrina Karkazis, an anthropologist at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University, says the child's gender neutrality won't last long. Because of children's strong sense of gender difference in others, Storm will self-identify as soon as she has the verbal capabilities to do so. 

What's the Big Idea?

To what extent are Storm's parents keeping the child from harmful gender stereotypes and to what extend are they avoiding the inevitable, possibly at the risk of confusing their child about what its role in society should be. "It's unclear whether the experiment will work out, said Karkazis... That's because gender messages are inescapable in our society, she told LiveScience. However, Karkazis said, Storm's parents are correct in thinking that people treat children differently based on gender, sometimes in very subtle ways."

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Science confirms: Earth has more than one 'moon'

Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.

J. Sliz-Balogh, A. Barta and G. Horvath
Surprising Science
  • Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
  • These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
  • The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less