Monday, January 10, 2011

From The Huffington Post - Should We Introduce Children to the Concept of Transgender People?

The question as to whether or not we should introduce children to the concept of transgender people is controversial but I think in order to foster in tolerance it is a step we must take. In my experience, when asked by small children why "I don't want to be a boy" or "why I want to be a girl" I have found that kids are very receptive to the simple answer... "I am a girl because I just know that I am". They don't run off saying they want to transition, they don't get grossed out, and they don't become confused... I also agree with the fact that my teaching others the transgender child, who may feel alone, will see that there are other people just like him or her. Anyway, here is an article about the topic:

Should we introduce children to the concept of transgender people? The answer is yes according to an article published in the December 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed Graduate Journal of Social Science.

The article by Natacha Kennedy and Mark Hellen, entitled "Transgender Children: More Than a Theoretical Challenge," was developed from a paper presented at the November 2009 conference "Transgender Studies & Theories: Building Up the Field in a Nordic Context" held at Linkoping University in Sweden.

Critics will cry that introducing all children to the concept of transgender people will cause children to "become transgender." But the authors found that schooling has little impact on gender identity development in children. In fact, children who develop a transgender identity seem to do so in spite of often unwitting but nevertheless pervasive efforts by schools to enforce gender conformity.

Kennedy and Hellen believe that school efforts do have a consequence, however. Transgender children learn very quickly that being transgender is "not acceptable," and so they conceal their identity, even from family members, to avoid suffering socially. As a result of fearfully suppressing their identity for such a long period, "many of these children achieve well below their abilities at school, leave school early, are more likely to self-harm or attempt suicide, and more likely to suffer from mental health issues in early adulthood."

Read the whole article

1 comment:

Caroline said...

I know, I know, telling children that some people have two different eye colours changes so many of them into two eye coloured monsters!

Humans can be SO stupid!