EDITORIAL:

The fast-rising trend of holding an event and popping black balloons to shower guests with confetti coloured blue (for a boy) and pink (you know, a girl) has inevitably drawn criticism.

These days, it would be a very disappointing and unusual social media post which gained some attention but didn't attract some outrage.

However, it's one thing to peel out hi-revving V8 doughnuts in a cul-de-sac, billowing blue, stinking smoke over a normally quiet neighbourhood, and another thing to have a couple of friends at a picnic table popping a bottle of grape juice and opening a mystery parcel to see what colour booties are inside.

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What harm could there be in the latter? Ciara Cremin, a senior lecturer in sociology within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland, reasons some may find the pigeon-holing of male or female-only answers can be harmful.

"You're defining the gender of a child before they are born, which sets them on a pathway through life that has the defect of reinforcing divisions that structure patriarchy."

That may be the case, and not to diminish anyone's hurt feelings over sexuality and stereotypes, but having yellow shredded paper bursting from a pinata doesn't have quite the same impact.

These parties are being held to reveal a gender, not celebrate the most diverse possibilities imaginable.

Parties aren't new and the people who like them and dislike them are just as likely to have always been around.

Archaeology traces acts of dancing from prehistoric times such as the 30,000-year-old Bhimbetka rock shelter paintings in India. You do wonder whether there wasn't someone there at the time questioning whether the actions were too sexual or whether men and women should or shouldn't be allowed to participate.

Perhaps the answer to anyone who may be upset by a gender reveal party is to politely decline that invitation, click on another social media post and go watch something that doesn't offend them so much.

And leave the parties to those who enter into the spirit of them.

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