Toronto couple defend move to keep baby's sex secret

image captionMr Stocker and Ms Witterick say the decision to keep Storm's sex a secret was "a tribute to freedom"

A Toronto couple are defending their decision to keep their infant's sex a secret in order to allow the child to develop his or her own gender identity.

Kathy Witterick and David Stocker have been widely accused of imposing their ideology on four-month-old Storm.

The family were the subject of a recent profile in the Toronto Star newspaper.

In an e-mail, Ms Witterick wrote that the idea that "the whole world must know what is between the baby's legs is unhealthy, unsafe, and voyeuristic".

Ms Witterick, 38, and Mr Stocker, 39, have also been criticised over the manner in which they are raising their two sons Jazz, five, and Kio, two.

The boys are encouraged to choose their own clothing and hairstyles - even if that means wearing girls' clothes - and to challenge gender norms. Jazz wears his hair in long braids, and the boys are "almost exclusively assumed to be girls," Mr Stocker told the Toronto Star.

The child's grandparents do not know Storm's sex, the Toronto Star reported, and have grown weary of explaining the situation, but are supportive.

In an e-mail to the Associated Press news agency, Ms Witterick, a stay-at-home mother, said a four-month-old infant was still learning to recognise him or herself, and said it was inappropriate to impose a gender identity on the child.

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