Should public schools officially recognize a student's gender identity?

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My question is why a first grader is considered mature enough to even have a gender identity.

Tanner The Monotone:
My question is why a first grader is considered mature enough to even have a gender identity.

See, this is kind of my thing too. I didn't even understand what gender really was until I got into late middle-school, early high-school, since gender is much harder to pin down then sexuality or sex.

Did you not have a sense of gender identity at that age? Did you not hang around with people mainly of a certain gender? Prefer clothes of a certain gender? I guess its a hard thing to question for those whose gender matches up with their body and always has done.

This response is not going to help answer the present question.

I take a broader stance, and am actively confronted with the question of whether or not segregated bathrooms are desirable. I get that in the current state of many cultures mixing bathrooms would be problematic, but I've begun questioning whether or not that's a state of affairs that should be upheld.

Sexuality and gender identity receive so much focus, so much attention, as if they're of such enormous importance, while I'm just sitting here pretty convinced that boys and girls and any other variation would be fine going to the same bathrooms and showers together. In fact, it would probably reduce that enormous distance between us based on those physical attributes. Identifying each other as humans requires contact with one another; separating people based on genders promotes misunderstanding between genders.

Consider this a tentative post; I'm not all on sure footing with this subject. Let's just say I'm asking: 'shouldn't we be striving for a situation where gender isn't such a big deal?'

I don't know what to do with the OP's question, it seems to me like there's no right answer, the question is wrong because of the world it's posed in I suppose.

dmase:

It's the genitalia problem, if it was really about ogling a girl or boy then there would be a gay bathroom at this point. Now while it's highly unlikely that exposure of a penis would happen it could happen and while it's not the end of the world it's not something adults want to have to explain to their kids that early in life. You can say what you want about it not being a big deal but it is the parents decision when their kids should be exposed to that knowledge and no one else's really.

Honestly is it anymore confusing than anything else we tell kids? Kids get confused as to why the other sex doesn't have their bits and the second you tell them they go off and pretend they're a helicopter, they dont care. You could tell them absolutely anything and as long as you don't impart your own bias then they accept it and move on, why would someone who doesn't know what 'normal' is yet going to get weirded out by something different to themselves?

It might be a parents right but it's in the child's best interest to teach them early and avoid them becoming the next generation of bigots who find difference scary.

tstorm823:
If Coy were to impregnate a girl at that school, I'm sure the torrent of people attacking that school will not find your arguement any more compelling than I do.

If Coy were to impregnate a girl at that school, she would be some sort of medical miracle. Unless times have changed and 6 year-olds now have functional junk.

OK, flippancy aside, that's a pretty strange argument. Like you'd have two students all set to break the "no sex in school" rule, but they get to the bathroom and one of them goes, "Awww, dangit, I can't go in that one. Sorry, no sex for us."

tstorm823:

If two heterosexual students sneak into the same bathroom to have sex, the school won't get sued. If two opposite sex students are allowed to share a bathroom and have sex, the school will get sued. Do you dispute this? Even if you think it's silly to imagine that causing problems, you should know this is reason enough.

Hey, I dispute that. If for no other reason than you've got no evidence to back it up. Show me an example of a transgendered teen and a cisgendered teen having sex in the same bathroom - which they were both officially designated to use by school policy - and the school subsequently getting sued, and you'll be halfway towards having a point.

Also, I'm not disputing the whole teen pregnancy thing, but realistically, how many teen babies get conceived in the toilets at school? For that matter, how much sex actually happens in the toilets at school? Talk about coitus interruptus. You wouldn't be able to get halfway through the first fumble before someone barged in to deposit yesterday's chilli lunch platter. Sorry, it just seems like an odd location for a romantic tryst when pretty much every school has a bike shed to go behind.

If you're too proud to backpedal then fine, but at least quit while you're a long way behind.

Bentusi16:
snip

Tanner The Monotone:
My question is why a first grader is considered mature enough to even have a gender identity.

Other people have pointed this out as well, but I feel like pitching in. It's very common for transgendered kids to start expressing their gender from a very early age. There's actually a great deal of evidence to indicate that the dysphoria is present at birth, and caused by a surplus or deficiency of hormones during pregnancy that cause a child to develop a "female" brain despite having male genitalia, or vice versa.

Tanner The Monotone:
My question is why a first grader is considered mature enough to even have a gender identity.

You didn't know you were a boy/girl when you were in 1st grade? You didn't hang out with other boys/girls? You didn't notice that the girls/boys acted a little differently, dressed differently, likes to play different kinds of games, interacted with their friends in different manners?

This stuff is all about gender. Gender is not dictated by your sexual identity, but in fact a core aspect of your person. I knew I was a boy before I knew anything about reproduction. It's not about sexuality. It's about identity.

Bentusi16:
I didn't even understand what gender really was until I got into late middle-school, early high-school, since gender is much harder to pin down then sexuality or sex.

You... kinda have it backwards. I mean, certainly you knew you were a boy in kindergarten or pre-school, right? you noticed that some of the other kids dressed differently, spoke differently, and enjoyed different kinds of games, right? That's gender. That was you recognizing that you had one gender, and other kids had another. All of this stuff kicks in way, way before puberty.

Imagine being that young and finding yourself thinking and feeling like you're a boy, but everyone wants you to wear dresses and go to girly sleepovers and stuff. Imagine how old that would get, how stressful, if you lacked the ability to express yourself and exert your own will that you have now. That is the world many transgendered people are raised in.

In this circumstance, the kid is just lucky that he's being allowed to explore who he is; just a shame adults are getting weird about the bathroom thing without really thinking it through.

Jamieson 90:

dmase:

Jamieson 90:
I don't really see the problem here, I mean how often do you show off your bits in a public toilet? I really think this is just adults not looking past that she's a girl and not a 'boy', and think she'll be ogling other girls because of that, which is ridiculous considering she's what eight?

It's the genitalia problem, if it was really about ogling a girl or boy then there would be a gay bathroom at this point. Now while it's highly unlikely that exposure of a penis would happen it could happen and while it's not the end of the world it's not something adults want to have to explain to their kids that early in life. You can say what you want about it not being a big deal but it is the parents decision when their kids should be exposed to that knowledge and no one else's really.

Really? How hard is it to say to little Lucy that Timmy was born a boy but thinks of himself as a girl hence he uses the girl's bathroom? It's like itsthehappy said, the adults are just making a big deal out of this when kids for the most part are very accepting, adaptable, and just go with the flow, they only get concerned when adults start making a big deal out of it, but if the adults didn't even bat an eye lid the same would occur for the kids. As for it might happen in regards to seeing his genitals, as far as I'm aware girls toilets only have cubicles, so how in the hell would that happen? Unless he just randomly whipped it out?

They are children now, in a couple years they will be kids, and further down the road young adults. What will they think later? I never took an explanation like that at face value as a kid and I imagine most would begin to question a bit about it as time went on. And once again parents are the ones that get to make that decision not the school and not the state, you can say they're worries are unfounded but no one gets to make that call except for them.

Kids are curious, always have been always will be, will it happen? No one can say that but no one can say it won't happen either.

dmase:

Jamieson 90:

dmase:

It's the genitalia problem, if it was really about ogling a girl or boy then there would be a gay bathroom at this point. Now while it's highly unlikely that exposure of a penis would happen it could happen and while it's not the end of the world it's not something adults want to have to explain to their kids that early in life. You can say what you want about it not being a big deal but it is the parents decision when their kids should be exposed to that knowledge and no one else's really.

Really? How hard is it to say to little Lucy that Timmy was born a boy but thinks of himself as a girl hence he uses the girl's bathroom? It's like itsthehappy said, the adults are just making a big deal out of this when kids for the most part are very accepting, adaptable, and just go with the flow, they only get concerned when adults start making a big deal out of it, but if the adults didn't even bat an eye lid the same would occur for the kids. As for it might happen in regards to seeing his genitals, as far as I'm aware girls toilets only have cubicles, so how in the hell would that happen? Unless he just randomly whipped it out?

They are children now, in a couple years they will be kids, and further down the road young adults. What will they think later? I never took an explanation like that at face value as a kid and I imagine most would begin to question a bit about it as time went on. And once again parents are the ones that get to make that decision not the school and not the state, you can say they're worries are unfounded but no one gets to make that call except for them.

Kids are curious, always have been always will be, will it happen? No one can say that but no one can say it won't happen either.

And parents can make the decision of not sending their kids to the school if they're not happy with it, and saying it might not happen or might happen as though they're both equal in likelihood is tad bit ridiculous; the US might nuke Russia tomorrow and it might not, but the chance it will is extremely small hence we assign a chance of how likely or not that is to occur, with the same logic applying here; indeed it's a flimsy argument to say someone might see her genitals because in all likelihood the chances of it happening are extremely remote.

Karma168:

dmase:

It's the genitalia problem, if it was really about ogling a girl or boy then there would be a gay bathroom at this point. Now while it's highly unlikely that exposure of a penis would happen it could happen and while it's not the end of the world it's not something adults want to have to explain to their kids that early in life. You can say what you want about it not being a big deal but it is the parents decision when their kids should be exposed to that knowledge and no one else's really.

Honestly is it anymore confusing than anything else we tell kids? Kids get confused as to why the other sex doesn't have their bits and the second you tell them they go off and pretend they're a helicopter, they dont care. You could tell them absolutely anything and as long as you don't impart your own bias then they accept it and move on, why would someone who doesn't know what 'normal' is yet going to get weirded out by something different to themselves?

It might be a parents right but it's in the child's best interest to teach them early and avoid them becoming the next generation of bigots who find difference scary.

No one says the talk has to begin at 6 though, and I seriously doubt we are turning a group of kids into bigots by waiting till 10 to talk about this and wanting to avoid it till then.

Jamieson 90:

And parents can make the decision of not sending their kids to the school if they're not happy with it, and saying it might not happen or might happen as though they're both equal in likelihood is tad bit ridiculous; the US might nuke Russia tomorrow and it might not, but the chance it will is extremely small hence we assign a chance of how likely or not that is to occur, with the same logic applying here; indeed it's a flimsy argument to say someone might see her genitals because in all likelihood the chances of it happening are extremely remote.

We don't base a lot of our laws in a civil society on individual interest, we do it on group interest. If we can prevent kids from swearing in class we can make a decision to make 1 student use one bathroom in stead of another. Your basing your statement as if the parents have no rights and only the kid does, that is far from right.

I think it's more likely a kid with a confused gender identity would want to know if there is a difference between her and other girls than russia nuking america. If I can't say that a child would notice their gender differences most likely you can't say that they won't, you have no factual way to change that. And your argument boils down to kids don't know they have different genitals so they won't look, which is bullshit.

It's not about accidentally seeing anything, kids are curious, I know I was at that age.

dmase:

Jamieson 90:

And parents can make the decision of not sending their kids to the school if they're not happy with it, and saying it might not happen or might happen as though they're both equal in likelihood is tad bit ridiculous; the US might nuke Russia tomorrow and it might not, but the chance it will is extremely small hence we assign a chance of how likely or not that is to occur, with the same logic applying here; indeed it's a flimsy argument to say someone might see her genitals because in all likelihood the chances of it happening are extremely remote.

We don't base a lot of our laws in a civil society on individual interest, we do it on group interest. If we can prevent kids from swearing in class we can make a decision to make 1 student use one bathroom in stead of another. Your basing your statement as if the parents have no rights and only the kid does, that is far from right.

I think it's more likely a kid with a confused gender identity would want to know if there is a difference between her and other girls than russia nuking america. If I can't say that a child would notice their gender differences most likely you can't say that they won't, you have no factual way to change that. And your argument boils down to kids don't know they have different genitals so they won't look, which is bullshit.

It's not about accidentally seeing anything, kids are curious, I know I was at that age.

I know that, and I also know kids are incredibly curious, but my point is in regards to opportunity, as I said girls bathrooms have cubicles so I really don't see how this is likely to occur, in fact if anything I think changing for physical education/sports is a bigger issue.

Bentusi16:
How does the kid know he/she is actually transgendered?

Coy is SIX YEARS OLD.

Maybe Coy said he liked wearing a dress and they ran with it and said "oh you must be transgender", and the kid isn't quite sure what they mean so he said "Sure, I like doing this, so I must be this".

See, I'm totally with you there. If the kid sees a group of girls playing with dolls, is told only girls play with those things and he thinks being a girl is the solution to being allowed to do that too... does that make him a transgender? Would he call himself a girl even if he had never been exposed to any sex-specific stigmatas?

But on the other hand I do have trouble even understanding the concept of transgenderism in general. Is it because I identify more with the role typically attributed to the other sex in the society I am in that I wish I was that one so me filling its role is more acceptable? Or is it actually about the genitals?
Similarly, if I identify more with the society of another country does that make me a transnational? Maybe even transethnical? Should have brought that into the "ask a transgender" thread we had a few weeks back.
... I probably offended a bunch of people right there. Don't hate me. Alright, I'll see myself out.

Is there an actual diagnosis of Gender identity disorder, assigned by medical professionals?

If so, then let her in: No girl ever died seeing another girl's penis. If no, then keep him out of the girl's bathroom, as you would any other boy.

Problem solved. The real question is, should trans-ethnic people be eligible for the affirmative action benefits assigned to their true race? Should not a black man caught in a white man's body be able to take advantage of affirmative action (...and Michael Jackson formally have been denied any potential right to it)? And has a parallel universe of excruciatingly bad anime invaded the real world, with plots of purple haired underage cross-dressers fighting for love and justice in the school bathroom? These are the questions which keep me up at night.

This is the point where political correctness crosses the line. Struggling against human perception and societal norms and constructs makes you progressive. Struggling against reality makes you delusional. We can all agree that the world is flat, and believe in that fact with all our hearts, yet the earth remains round. We can agree that the boy is a girl, and believe that fact with all our hearts, be he will be no more a girl than the earth is flat.

Its one thing to acknowledge that he is uncomfortable in his body, and would be more comfortable dressing like, acting like, and being treated like a female. I understand and respect that fact. But to say that he "is" a female is tantamount to saying that the crazy chick I went to high school with was a were-dragon because she truly believed she was.

cthulhuspawn82:
This is the point where political correctness crosses the line.

I can sympathise with this. Whenever I don't understand something, I attach the label "political correctness" to it as well. Even back in secondary school I would wave my hand at the maths teacher and cry, "These quadratic equations are pure political correctness, sir!"

Struggling against reality makes you delusional. We can all agree that the world is flat, and believe in that fact with all our hearts, yet the earth remains round. We can agree that the boy is a girl, and believe that fact with all our hearts, be he will be no more a girl than the earth is flat.

Its one thing to acknowledge that he is uncomfortable in his body, and would be more comfortable dressing like, acting like, and being treated like a female. I understand and respect that fact. But to say that he "is" a female is tantamount to saying that the crazy chick I went to high school with was a were-dragon because she truly believed she was.

First of all, I'd just like to think you for dismissing all the transgendered people on this board (of which there are quite a few) as "delusional" and implying that the rest of the world is only humouring their stupidity. Just lovely. This is how The Escapist earns its reputation as a welcoming and diverse community.

Now, in the interests of actually knowing something about a topic before you decide to jump in and have an opinion on it, kindly go and read up on the difference between sex and gender, and learn a bit about gender dysphoria and gender performativity. Then you can come back and discuss the topic on the same plane of knowledge as everyone else.

Though I get the feeling that you're going to skip the boring old "reading" and "learning" parts of that advice and come right on back to dish out some more uninformed opinion.

boots:

If you're too proud to backpedal then fine, but at least quit while you're a long way behind.

It's not pride, it's understanding that none of us are ever really winners unless the other person gets confused and concedes. I say things, you say things, we have a good time, no pride on the line.

Although... apparently there is a history of bad things happening between 7 year old kids that get in the bathroom together like these.

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=8982167
http://www.annarbor.com/news/education/jury-trial-in-eberwhite-sexual-assault-lawsuit-expected-in-late-spring/

Why would you think I was in a ditch by suggesting that they're prudent to avoid facilitating that?

tstorm823:

boots:

If you're too proud to backpedal then fine, but at least quit while you're a long way behind.

It's not pride, it's understanding that none of us are ever really winners unless the other person gets confused and concedes. I say things, you say things, we have a good time, no pride on the line.

Although... apparently there is a history of bad things happening between 7 year old kids that get in the bathroom together like these.

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=8982167
http://www.annarbor.com/news/education/jury-trial-in-eberwhite-sexual-assault-lawsuit-expected-in-late-spring/

Why would you think I was in a ditch by suggesting that they're prudent to avoid facilitating that?

Uh, dude. Far be it me to tell you how to write your posts, but it's probably best not to triumphantly link to news stories that directly contradict your own arguments. You know, just a suggestion.

Allow me to quote you here:

If two heterosexual students sneak into the same bathroom to have sex, the school won't get sued. If two opposite sex students are allowed to share a bathroom and have sex, the school will get sued. Do you dispute this? Even if you think it's silly to imagine that causing problems, you should know this is reason enough.

Neither of those stories are to do with transgendered kids or opposite sexed kids using the same bathroom. They both describe situations where the school was sued despite the fact that the sexual activity took place covertly. The Ann Arbor one is quite literally a case of the school getting sued after a male student snuck into a girls bathroom. Those stories explicitly prove your bolded statement to be false.

So ... yeah. Not sure what else to say. Condolences?

EDIT: Actually, that's impolite. I should thank you for saving me the trouble of proving you wrong by doing it yourself.

Tanner The Monotone:
My question is why a first grader is considered mature enough to even have a gender identity.

Children have a basic concept of gender at a very young age. After they're potty trained they know that there are two different bathrooms, and that they can only go into one of them. They may not know why the bathrooms are different that age, and as they grow older their knowledge of why and how this works becomes more sophisticated. And definitely by kindergarten they know that they are a boy or a girl. And the same way kids identify with one gender and intrinsically know which one they are regardless of if they know why, Coy intrinsically knows she is a girl. She may not know the difference between a penis and a vagina or what they have to do with being a boy or a girl, but neither do a lot of kids at that same age.

I think the very fact that this has been observed to manifest at such a young age disproves ignorant argument like cthuluspawn's that this is some sort of passing fancy, like kids who think they are wolves or dragons. This isn't some interest that developed due to outside influences, this is much deeper than that. It is literally a gender identity--just as integral to as a boy's identity as a boy, or a girl's identity as a girl.

The kid is 6 years old. What the hell? He is not transgender. Gender by definition has got major elements of sexuality and awareness of one's own sexual characteristics. The kid is 6. He has not gone through puberty, the launchpad for massive hormonal changes that pretty much lock and load most of our eventual sexual identity for the rest of our lives. The kid is 6. When he reaches sexual maturity he can decide to be whatever he wants to be but right now, no, he's 6.

There is some weird parenting going on in that house.

So yeah he should use the boy's bathroom because he is a boy.

P.S
Thought the OP's use of the phrase "born with male genitalia" is a bit misleading since it could be read that the child is a hermaphrodite. He is not. He is a boy.

Images:
The kid is 6 years old. What the hell? He is not transgender. Gender by definition has got major elements of sexuality and awareness of one's own sexual characteristics. The kid is 6.

Gotta love all the people who aren't bothering to read the thread and are bringing up arguments that were thoroughly dealt with on the first page.

So when you were six, you considered yourself to be an amorphous blob? If someone had asked you, when you were 6, "Are you a girl or a boy?" would you have looked them seriously in the eye and said, "I have no gender as I have not passed through puberty yet"? If that's the case, then your viewpoint stands and I apologise for querying it.

Top tip: next time, actually do some research on transgenderism/gender dysphoria before you decide to comment on it.

boots:

Images:
The kid is 6 years old. What the hell? He is not transgender. Gender by definition has got major elements of sexuality and awareness of one's own sexual characteristics. The kid is 6.

Gotta love all the people who aren't bothering to read the thread and are bringing up arguments that were thoroughly dealt with on the first page.

So when you were six, you considered yourself to be an amorphous blob? If someone had asked you, when you were 6, "Are you a girl or a boy?" would you have looked them seriously in the eye and said, "I have no gender as I have not passed through puberty yet"? If that's the case, then your viewpoint stands and I apologise for querying it.

Top tip: next time, actually do some research on transgenderism/gender dysphoria before you decide to comment on it.

Firstly: You are not the king/queen of transgender psychology either.

Secondly: A child may say "I am a girl". A child with no knowledge of sex, next to no sexual impulses and a mind that can barely comprehend that kermit is not a real person. However,considering those details I'm sure one can doubt the kid fully understands what they are themselves, let alone is able to define their gender in such certain terms that they must use a bathroom they are not supposed to be in a public school.

It seriously seems the parents heard the kid go, "I'm a lady!" then they shrugged, went "k" and went back to their beers.

Images:
The kid is 6 years old. What the hell? He is not transgender. Gender by definition has got major elements of sexuality and awareness of one's own sexual characteristics. The kid is 6. He has not gone through puberty, the launchpad for massive hormonal changes that pretty much lock and load most of our eventual sexual identity for the rest of our lives. The kid is 6. When he reaches sexual maturity he can decide to be whatever he wants to be but right now, no, he's 6.

If gender and personal gender identity are total mysteries to children, then how do children know which bathroom they're supposed to use between being potty trained and hitting puberty? And how do they know what to tell adults when asked if they are a girl or a boy?

Understanding the mechanics of sex has nothing to do with knowing what gender is. Children know what boys and girls are at a very young age, even though they may not know why boys are boys and why girls are girls. Of course as they grow up their knowledge of the subject will become more sophisticated, but that doesn't mean they can't have the basics at a young age. That would be like saying a person can't know what a spaceship is unless they understand the exact physics of space travel and all the laws of thermodynamics.

Images:
[
Firstly: You are not the king/queen of transgender psychology either.

I know enough to know about the substantial evidence suggesting that gender dysphoria is formed in the womb as the result of either deficient or surplus hormones, meaning that transgendered people are the way that they are from birth. I also know that in most cases, transgendered people usually begin displaying signs of gender dysphoria very early on in life, often before they reach kindergarten age.

As would you, if you'd read the thread before posting. But apparently even that seemed like too much effort.

Secondly: A child may say "I am a girl". A child with no knowledge of sex, next to no sexual impulses and a mind that can barely comprehend that kermit is not a real person. However,considering those details I'm sure one can doubt the kid fully understands what they are themselves, let alone is able to define their gender in such certain terms that they must use a bathroom they are not supposed to be in a public school.

It seriously seems the parents heard the kid go, "I'm a lady!" then they shrugged, went "k" and went back to their beers.

I also know enough not to use sex/gender, girl/female, boy/male interchangeably.

By all means, dispute gender performativity theory, the psychological diagnosis of gender dysphoria and the sociological theories of transgenderism and genderqueer individuals. All I ask is that you actually find out what they are first.

Lilani:
they may not know why boys are boys and why girls are girls.

And there you have it. Shows over folks. That's the entire point. If they don't understand or know then they cannot grasp anything close to a complete concept or ideal to cling to. At that age a girl is simply, the ones that have dresses and long hair. Suggesting the child has some higher understanding then what he cannot possibly know is utter nonsense.

That would be like saying a person can't know what a spaceship is unless they understand the exact physics of space travel and all the laws of thermodynamics.

But by my same explanation they wouldn't claim to be a rocket scientist then would they?

boots:

Images:
[
Firstly: You are not the king/queen of transgender psychology either.

I know enough to know about the substantial evidence suggesting that gender dysphoria is formed in the womb as the result of either deficient or surplus hormones, meaning that transgendered people are the way that they are from birth. I also know that in most cases, transgendered people usually begin displaying signs of gender dysphoria very early on in life, often before they reach kindergarten age.

As would you, if you'd read the thread before posting. But apparently even that seemed like too much effort.

Secondly: A child may say "I am a girl". A child with no knowledge of sex, next to no sexual impulses and a mind that can barely comprehend that kermit is not a real person. However,considering those details I'm sure one can doubt the kid fully understands what they are themselves, let alone is able to define their gender in such certain terms that they must use a bathroom they are not supposed to be in a public school.

It seriously seems the parents heard the kid go, "I'm a lady!" then they shrugged, went "k" and went back to their beers.

I also know enough not to use sex/gender, girl/female, boy/male interchangeably.

By all means, dispute gender performativity theory, the psychological diagnosis of gender dysphoria and the sociological theories of transgenderism and genderqueer individuals. All I ask is that you actually find out what they are first.

Nope I understand the difference between sex and gender. Did plenty of that on my degree. However saying that they are not linked and ones gender identity has no link to knowledge or psychological idea of sexual anatomy or sexuality is ridiculous. The entire basis of the castration moment of male child development in Freudian Oedipal terms is that the male child sees a woman's vagina for the first time and fears that she was once a male who was castrated and that in order to prevent that happening to him he must find his own penis-less person to dominate.

I do know my shit. And its 5:30 AM

Images:

Lilani:
they may not know why boys are boys and why girls are girls.

And there you have it. Shows over folks. That's the entire point. If they don't understand or know then they cannot grasp anything close to a complete concept or ideal to cling to. At that age a girl is simply, the ones that have dresses and long hair. Suggesting the child has some higher understanding then what he cannot possibly know is utter nonsense.

...And this child has decided that she belongs to the ones that have dresses and long hair. Who are you to say otherwise? Transgendered people who decided what gender they are at a very young age have been around since long before you were born, and even if you never get your head around it they will continue to exist long after you're gone. The only thing changing here is our understanding of it.

But by my same explanation they wouldn't claim to be a rocket scientist then would they?

No, but nobody's asking them to be a rocket scientist. They're just being asked to identify a spaceship.

Lilani:
The only thing going on here is our understanding of it.

The operative word being "OUR". It is not more enlightened to believe in a pre-determined sexual identity or gender role or that discovering it earlier is healthier. I would have to say that there is a very large body of work that contradicts this and that most studies, no matter how nature or nurture based they may be still hold puberty as the tipping point for anything related to that. A child of that age is still very much a lump of clay, constantly being molded, it cannot choose what it is yet because it is nothing solid yet and it wouldn't know what it was even if it could see itself.

No, but nobody's asking them to be a rocket scientist. They're just being asked to identify a spaceship.

Yes you are, you are not asking the child to point out and identify a girl, you are asking one whether or not they are a girl. And on that matter I have seen children say they are fire trucks...they are surprisingly NOT fire trucks.

Images:

Nope I understand the difference between sex and gender. Did plenty of that on my degree.

Apologies, then, the way you were talking about the two like they were synonymous made your post come across as somewhat ignorant.

However saying that they are not linked and ones gender identity has no link to knowledge or psychological idea of sexual anatomy or sexuality is ridiculous.

Oh, I agree. Which is why I didn't say that, and neither has anyone else in this thread. All I claimed was that a male-sexed person is not necessarily a boy, and a female-sexed person is not necessarily a girl. That it is possible to be a male girl or a female boy. If you understand that sex and gender are not the same thing then you can't really dispute that. If males were always girls and females were always boys and the genders were fixed and never overlapped then we would be able to use "sex" and "gender" interchangeably.

The entire basis of the castration moment of male child development in Freudian Oedipal terms is that the male child sees a woman's vagina for the first time and fears that she was once a male who was castrated and that in order to prevent that happening to him he must find his own penis-less person to dominate.

I'm ... not quite seeing how this is relevant. Perhaps because you're bringing nineteenth century dawn-of-psychoanalysis theory into a discussion of modern understandings of gender and sex.

Hm, that is tricky.
Obviously they should treat the kid like a girl in conversations etc. if that's how she feels, but the bathroom thing is not just about her, it could potentially affect others. But then we have to evaluate in what way it might affect others and whether that's a problem or not.
I generally think there's too much worry about kids noticing genitals. At that age, girls are icky anyway.
And if she actually does change upon entering puberty, you can always adapt and start treating her like a guy. If she actually continues considering herself a girl but is attracted to girls you can always treat her like a lesbian, i. e. like any other girl (well, except for safe-sex ed obviously).
All in all, maybe we should just get rid of separate bathrooms altogether. Would that really be bad for gender relations or would it help reduce a lot of the awkwardness? Hm, but then boys would have to sit down. And who'd want to wish that on children?!

boots:

Oh, I agree. Which is why I didn't say that, and neither has anyone else in this thread. All I claimed was that a male-sexed person is not necessarily a boy, and a female-sexed person is not necessarily a girl. That it is possible to be a male girl or a female boy. If you understand that sex and gender are not the same thing then you can't really dispute that. If males were always girls and females were always boys and the genders were fixed and never overlapped then we would be able to use "sex" and "gender" interchangeably.

And?...I have not disputed this. I dispute a child of 6 years old can understand the concept of gender to the extent that he self identifies with it. He may see girls, recognise girls, even want to be a girl but that does not equal anything close to full identification. Children can spend weeks barking pretending to be dogs. Its been known to happen. However it is pretty much agreed that you don't then put a bowl on the floor for them. Allowing a child to discover who they are over the course of childhood is one thing, changing school policy to an extent that it will make parents of other children uncomfortable because a kid who has likely not even seen the genitalia of the opposite sex believes himself to be one of them? No, that's just ridiculous.

The entire basis of the castration moment of male child development in Freudian Oedipal terms is that the male child sees a woman's vagina for the first time and fears that she was once a male who was castrated and that in order to prevent that happening to him he must find his own penis-less person to dominate.

I'm ... not quite seeing how this is relevant. Perhaps because you're bringing nineteenth century dawn-of-psychoanalysis theory into a discussion of modern understandings of gender and sex.

You say potato, I say basis of entire school of child rearing and gender discussion.

My point WAS simply to demonstrate how the entire childhood experience up to puberty is made up of many experiences mainly sexual in some form which define almost every aspect of our character, especially gender. Even as a Jungian sympathiser I have to take this as written.

boots:

cthulhuspawn82:
This is the point where political correctness crosses the line.

I can sympathise with this. Whenever I don't understand something, I attach the label "political correctness" to it as well. Even back in secondary school I would wave my hand at the maths teacher and cry, "These quadratic equations are pure political correctness, sir!"

Struggling against reality makes you delusional. We can all agree that the world is flat, and believe in that fact with all our hearts, yet the earth remains round. We can agree that the boy is a girl, and believe that fact with all our hearts, be he will be no more a girl than the earth is flat.

Its one thing to acknowledge that he is uncomfortable in his body, and would be more comfortable dressing like, acting like, and being treated like a female. I understand and respect that fact. But to say that he "is" a female is tantamount to saying that the crazy chick I went to high school with was a were-dragon because she truly believed she was.

First of all, I'd just like to think you for dismissing all the transgendered people on this board (of which there are quite a few) as "delusional" and implying that the rest of the world is only humouring their stupidity. Just lovely. This is how The Escapist earns its reputation as a welcoming and diverse community.

Now, in the interests of actually knowing something about a topic before you decide to jump in and have an opinion on it, kindly go and read up on the difference between sex and gender, and learn a bit about gender dysphoria and gender performativity. Then you can come back and discuss the topic on the same plane of knowledge as everyone else.

Though I get the feeling that you're going to skip the boring old "reading" and "learning" parts of that advice and come right on back to dish out some more uninformed opinion.

I wonder if "you" know the difference between gender and sex? Gender is a meaningless social construct. Boys wear blue and girls wear pink, because our society arbitrarily decided that blue was masculine and pink was feminine. Wearing pink doesn't make you a girl or a "she", it makes you a boy who likes to wear pink. That's a vast oversimplification of the issue, but anyone here should be smart enough to understand the concept.

We have people who want to be recognized as a member of the opposite "sex". They want to go into the ladies restroom, and partake in any other "female restricted" zones and activities. The bathrooms are labeled Men and Women not "people who are butch" and "people who are effeminate"

So all this boy gets to choose is his "gender", but as I have said, gender is a meaningless concept. Here is is a girl, but if he went to a country where his behavior was considered masculine, he would be a boy. This is why social constructs are largely meaningless.

I wonder, do you consider butch lesbians to be men?

cthulhuspawn82:

I wonder if "you" know the difference between gender and sex? Gender is a meaningless social construct. Boys wear blue and girls wear pink, because our society arbitrarily decided that blue was masculine and pink was feminine. Wearing pink doesn't make you a girl or a "she", it makes you a boy who likes to wear pink. That's a vast oversimplification of the issue, but anyone here should be smart enough to understand the concept.

You know what's a vast oversimplification? Believing that because something doesn't have clear boundaries and isn't scientifically defined it must be meaningless.

We have people who want to be recognized as a member of the opposite "sex". They want to go into the ladies restroom, and partake in any other "female restricted" zones and activities. The bathrooms are labeled Men and Women not "people who are butch" and "people who are effeminate"

Thanks for making my point for me. Most bathrooms are labelled men/women, ladies/gents, boys/girls etc. They refer to gender, not sex. You have a problem with the idea of a transgendered woman peeing in the privacy of a stall in the ladies bathroom because you think that the other women who can't see her might be made to feel uncomfortable by the genitalia that they can't see? And yet you don't think men would feel uncomfortable if a woman - bust, skirt, long curly hair and all - walked into their bathroom and started applying her lipstick in the mirror? It's almost as though transgendered people can't win either way.

Personally, I'm in favour of co-ed bathrooms with individual stalls, but if someone identifies as a lady then you can be damn sure I'll fight for her right to use the ladies toilets.

I wonder, do you consider butch lesbians to be men?

That's a simply gorgeous prejudice you accidentally let slip there. You couldn't just say "butch women", could you? You had to say "butch lesbians". Because how can a women be butch and not be a lesbian?

boots:

Neither of those stories are to do with transgendered kids or opposite sexed kids using the same bathroom. They both describe situations where the school was sued despite the fact that the sexual activity took place covertly.

Because the imaginary scenario thrown at me where kids plan to sneak into the bathroom together and the real scenarios where one followed the other in and forced the issue are the same thing, sure.

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