Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gender Issues

In high school I wrote a research paper for my psychology class that the professor was very impressed with. I had explored whether sexual identity was innate or taught. The conclusion of my paper was that sexual identity was learned. I had done all sorts of research (from, of course, the liberal psychological journals) which studied children who are born with unidentifiable private-parts, and what the parents decided to do about treating them as boy or girl, and how it turned out.

Thing is, the studies hadn't really been going long enough to know. If you decide that this child with an itty-bitty nearly-nonexistent boy-part is going to be raised as a girl, you really don't know the end of the story when the kid is 8 or 10. It turned out that some of these kids who were called girls --when their DNA said they were boys-- ended up mortified when they were attracted to girls in their teens years.

Now I know better. Now I know that boys are boys, and can't be taught to be girls just because they have a birth defect in a certain sensitive area. It embarrassed me to no end when I heard years later that the psych teacher was still bragging about what a great paper I'd written. And it was wrong! Entirely wrong!

That's why, when Cheryl linked to this story, I found it very sad what these parents are doing to their child. And near the end of the article, we hear the end of one of those early stories that might've been included in my shameful paper, a baby boy who was accidentally mutilated in 1967 and then raised as a girl.

"Male and female He created them." There can be no "human identity" apart from one's identity as a boy or a girl.

1 comment:

  1. I think that part of this confusion comes from the fact that we think male/female and masculine/feminine equal the exact same thing. Some men may have somewhat "feminine" ways about them, and some women may be a bit more "masculine" in ways. But that *doesn't* change sex. It *doesn't* say anything about gender. And ultimately you can't "crush" the male or female out of them.

    I feel especially bad for "Pops" (the kid in the article) if Pops is a boy. I think a girl might be able to retain more of her femininity with what her parents are doing, but making a boy wear dresses?

    Besides which, I find it interesting that somehow the cited "feminist agenda" that they're coming from is perceived as balanced and open and free. Doesn't the very name "feminism" imply that it's not?

    Now I'm off to get my hands on this paper you wrote...