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To grit my teeth at the phrase, "gender scan"?

(159 Posts)
magneticfield55 Fri 21-Nov-14 13:37:31

For a start, unless you're paying for one which is specifically for that purpose, it's not. It's a medical scan to check organs etc.

But it's also not a, "gender" scan. All it will tell you is whether your baby has a penis or a vagina. That's it. It'll tell you that they're biologically male or female (intersexuality, androgen insensitivity syndrome etc aside). The inaccuracy of it irritates me. That penis or vagina will probably determine their position in the gender hierarchy, but it's still all we know about them at that point.

I'm a feminist and believe gender is socially constructed, with girls and women at the bottom. So I get really irritated by, "team pink!", "gender reveals". I know it can help us to bond with our bumps, but they're not even born yet and we're already basing our preconceived ideas of who they might be around their gender.

I don't begrudge anyone this, it just annoys me. AIBU?

Mammanat222 Fri 21-Nov-14 13:43:51

The proper name is the anomaly scan, it's also known as the 20 week scan.

A gender scan - IMO of course - is the private one you pay for a 16w or thereabouts - the purpose of which is purely to find out gender.

It doesn't annoy me on a feminist level at all, it annoys me as the purpose of the anomaly scan is NOT to determine gender.

bonzo77 Fri 21-Nov-14 13:43:54

YANBU. it's an anomaly scan. At which some hospitals will describe the external genitalia. Gender is a state of mind. And can change. And can only really be ascertained by conversing with the person you are interested in.

Mammanat222 Fri 21-Nov-14 13:45:20

* I say this as someone who didn't find out gender with first child, did with this child BUT was also told my baby did have a slight anomaly [with her bowel] cue lots of blood tests to rule out certain things and monthly growth scans.

I didn't give a flying fuck about the gender after they told me there could be something wrong with my baby.

APocketfulOfSpondulix Fri 21-Nov-14 13:45:39

I'm with you on the gender social conditioning bit but I think you're overthinking it. To most people who are having a healthy pregnancy the 20wk scan is just a matter of routine, and that's the bit they take away with them.

I don't think it matters whether you find out during the pregnancy or at the moment of birth, surely your preconceived ideas of what girls/boys are like or should be will be the same.

MiddletonPink Fri 21-Nov-14 13:46:19

People pay for gender scans so they are quite accurate I suppose.
I've never heard anyone call their anomaly scan a gender scan. 20 week scan is what's its frequently called.

Theorientcalf Fri 21-Nov-14 13:50:26

YANBU in that it's an anomaly scan, not a gender scan. I think some people forget this.

FWIW I didn't find out either time.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 21-Nov-14 13:50:35

Yanbu. It's not to tell gender it's to find out and potentially prepare for anything that's wrong.

I think. People seem to have lost track of this

Altinkum Fri 21-Nov-14 13:50:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

youmakemydreams Fri 21-Nov-14 13:52:19

I think people are misunderstanding the op. It is not so much calling the anomaly scan a gender scan it is the use of the word gender at all.
Setting aside the anomaly aspect. You are not finding out the gender you are finding out the sex of your baby.
The sex is fixed (mostly) as male or female. Gender is not a fixed thing. Gender is a socially constructed role. So rather than man or woman it becomes masculine and feminine.

Altinkum Fri 21-Nov-14 13:52:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DillydollyRIP Fri 21-Nov-14 13:53:30

Some if my friends always refer to the 20week scan as the one where they find out if they're 'team pink or blue'! confused

While it's nice to see your baby on the screen, the 20wk scan is very important and done to check for potential problems. I had to be referred with dc3 after my 20wk scan picked up a possible heart defect with the baby.

My friend had to end a pregnancy after her scan picked up lots of problems with the baby that were incompatible with life sad
Only that morning she was excited and looking forward to seeing what she was having.

I know most people have positive outcomes at their scans but it's a very important scan to check for problems and if you're lucky they might be able to see between the baby's legs.

MiddletonPink Fri 21-Nov-14 13:55:04

But who are these people that say gender scan?

In all my years of being pregnant I've never heard it. Apart from in the appropriate use ie the person was having a gender scan.

Expedititition Fri 21-Nov-14 13:55:10

Wow. I think you need to chill out to be honest.

Plus I've never heard it called a gender scan. Ever. Just a 20 week scan.

Also. Nobody had ever asked me the 'gender'. They have said is it a boy or a girl? You know, because that's a perfectly normal question.

Selinasupreme Fri 21-Nov-14 13:55:30

Wtf did I just read? Get a life!

cherrybombxo Fri 21-Nov-14 13:56:31

I'm a feminist too but I do think you're really overthinking it.

YANBU to be annoyed about it being called a "gender scan" when it's not actually a scan to confirm the gender.

YAB a bit U to be so annoyed about possible connotations of the word "gender". Yes, it's technically the baby's sex as their gender identity may not match their assigned sex but I've never met anyone who puts so much thought into it.

OfaFrenchMind Fri 21-Nov-14 13:56:56

You can grit your teeth. That's absolutely your choice to be irritated at this, as you have strong opinions about it.

However, remember that we do not all want to completely redefine every words of our vocabulary just to fit one school of thinking. So do not expect people to change their way of speaking because you choose to follow one ideology.

magneticfield55 Fri 21-Nov-14 13:57:04

Bit of both, youmakemydreams. I get irritated because it's a medical scan and not there to find out sex (of course, it's fine to, but that's not what it's for) and the wrong use of the word gender/general gender things.

We did find out the sex by the way, the news quickly flattened by the fact the scan did pick up an anomaly (thankfully fine). But we'd initially been told the wrong one (female), and I was shocked at myself at how much I'd gendered my not-yet-born child, and began to think more deeply about the preconceived ideas I'd had, often subconsciously, about them based on their gender. So I'm not saying here that I'm great or anything.

Expedititition Fri 21-Nov-14 13:57:47

And also, I'm sure the people looking forward to finding out the sex are also interested in the health of their baby. Seeing as they are pregnant and carrying it. Probably without people telling them they should care about the health of their child.

Only1scoop Fri 21-Nov-14 13:57:54

All the scans I had with dd were private ones....they were dating scans....nuchal....anomaly....well being....

I had my scans to look at my babies development.

As a bonus we would get pics including 4d etc....I was asked if I wanted to know the sex which I did.

I used to sit in the waiting room and the times I would hear the receptionist explaining that they were not just a 'photo clinic' used to amaze me. Awful. Scans are not just a photo slide show.

Same with 'gender scans' hmm

The sex of the baby can be looked at during a routine scan.

magneticfield55 Fri 21-Nov-14 13:59:49

Well... it's not a school of thinking, is it. Ideas around gender are. But sex and gender being separate aren't. I have two cats- one is male, one is female. One has testes and a penis, the other has ovaries a vagina. They don't have a gender.

SoonToBeSix Fri 21-Nov-14 13:59:53

Yabu maybe get this thread moved to the feminist board.

Siarie Fri 21-Nov-14 14:02:37

And this is why I don't go on the feminist guys are so aggressively passionate that it doesn't come across well online.

YANBU to have your own views, if it annoys you that's how you feel


YABU as there are gender scan specifically for checking the gender, I've had one. I don't consider my 20 week scan to be a gender scan but the scan I had privately at 16 weeks is a gender scan and thus I don't know what else I would be expected to call it.

Expedititition Fri 21-Nov-14 14:05:01

Also why I don't go on feminist boards.

Very aggressive I am better than anyone else attitude.

I would class myself as a pretty effective feminist too.

TittyBojangles Fri 21-Nov-14 14:05:38

I am in this exact field and it irritates me on a daily basis the use of the term gender when they mean sex. Leaving aside the issues with the fact that it's obviously a scan checking for anomalies. But I realise ppl mostly just misunderstand the word gender and don't actually realise what it means they just say it because it seems 'politer' than saying sex. I often correct them subtly but I always feel a bit of a twat when I do.

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