(NY Times Magazine) What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?

Many parents and clinicians now reject corrective therapy, making this the first generation to allow boys to openly play and dress (to varying degrees) in ways previously restricted to girls ”” to exist in what one psychologist called “that middle space” between traditional boyhood and traditional girlhood. These parents have drawn courage from a burgeoning Internet community of like-minded folk whose sons identify as boys but wear tiaras and tote unicorn backpacks. Even transgender people preserve the traditional binary gender division: born in one and belonging in the other. But the parents of boys in that middle space argue that gender is a spectrum rather than two opposing categories, neither of which any real man or woman precisely fits.

“It might make your world more tidy to have two neat and separate gender possibilities,” one North Carolina mother wrote last year on her blog, “but when you squish out the space between, you do not accurately represent lived reality. More than that, you’re trying to ”˜squish out’ my kid.”

The impassioned author of that blog, Pink Is for Boys, is careful to conceal her son’s identity, as were the other parents interviewed for this article. As much as these parents want to nurture and defend what makes their children unique and happy, they also fear it will expose their sons to rejection. Some have switched schools, changed churches and even moved to try to shield their children. That tension between yielding to conformity or encouraging self-expression is felt by parents of any child who differs from the norm. But parents of so-called pink boys feel another layer of anxiety: given how central gender is to identity, they fear the wrong parenting decision could devastate their child’s social or emotional well-being. The fact that there is still substantial disagreement among prominent psychological professionals about whether to squelch unconventional behavior or support it makes those decisions even more wrenching.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Children, History, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Science & Technology, Sexuality, Theology

One comment on “(NY Times Magazine) What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?

  1. Kendall Harmon says:

    From Drummie:

    The parents of these confused children are probably children of the 1970’s themselves. Why do I say that, well, during the feminist movement of the 1970’s it became politically incorrect and totally out of style to talk of any inborn differences between the behaviors of males and females. The militant feminists seemed to feel and in fact argued that if the world were to become an androgynous place except for the few minor anatomical details we would all be better off. They argued that sexism (whatever that exactly is) should be abolished. It seems that God had a different plan. I realize that the “progressives” don’t like to talk about God unless they try and change Him into a neuter gender mystical creature or a “her”. Nonetheless, God had a plan from the beginning and created them male and female, including all the anatomical, psychological, emotional and other differences that rational people realize are a part of gender and the natural order. Studies since the 70’s have continued to show that the differences, in addition to the anatomical details, between male and female do in fact exist. One study lead to a book on brain physiology, The Real Difference Between Men and Women (Anne Moir and David Jessel, New York: Dell, 1991). I can’t find my copy right now to quote from it so I Googled the citation for it. In this book the authors laid out empirical evidence for the differences between the sexes (genders). They claimed that men and women are only equal in that they both belong to the same species. They went on to claim that maintaining that they were the same was biologically and scientifically a lie. There have been many other studies that confirmed their findings.

    From just about any way you look at it, the feminist movement failed particularly women, but children and men as well. History has even been rewritten by the “progressive” authors of history books trying to erase any celebration of women who have been stay at home wives and mothers. Even today, many of the “progressives” continue this tactic. You only have to look back a few weeks to find a reference stating that Mitt Romney’s wife “never worked a day in her life”. The fact that she only worked raising a family and being a wife apparently doesn’t count. Evidently the person who wrote that line has never dealt with a two year old with a stomach virus and lack of sleep or a teenager that doesn’t get their way or trying to be at dance lessons, little league baseball and Altar Guild at the same time. These authors of “history” that leave out the contributions of wives and mothers claim that they are trying for “equality” in denying the existence of the contributions of wives and mothers, as they are only from women. When we refuse to recognize the contributions of these wives and mothers, we are promoting a false concept of family, marriage, gender and sex. Look what has developed from the 1970’s. We need to only look to what is happening in the West to society and main stream religious denominations. Look at the societal decline and heresy that has developed in mainline Churches.

    The parents of these confused children are only perpetuating the misconception (lies) promoted by “progressives” that men and women are the same and interchangeable. Since the 1970’s we have had academia, politicians and many church leaders conducting a huge social experiment trying to reinvent what God got right to start with. I don’t think allowing children to stay confused about what they are contributes to psychological, emotional, physical or societal health. Look around, the proofs confront us daily. Society has degenerated and I have to keep asking, “What are the “progressives” progressing towards?” Then, look to your Bible and read what God intended for men and women. The Bible clearly has many passages that describe what it means to be a man or a woman. God made us the way we are; it should not be up to us to try to “change” us. That leads to emotional conflict, physical problems, and psychological damage, so why go there? Live as God made us, male and female, not “it’s”, and I don’t recall that gender being mentioned in the Bible.