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Generic Confusion

When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
Nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu ma iei

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sometimes, you have to be a parent

What are parents to do when their child says he's tired of being a child, and wants to be a roadrunner? If there's not another child (who wants to be a puh-sychiatrist) sitting nearby, ready to dissuade him, the parents have to step in and say no, you can't do that. You have to go to school, you have to eat the dinners we make, you have to go to the store.

What if their child wants to go around naked? What could be more natural than to go au natural? The parents need to say that no, when you go outside, you must wear clothes.

Most parents have probably experienced children who don't want to eat their vegetables. Even though it's perfectly possible to live without eating vegetables, parents are right to instill proper eating behavior in their children.

Perhaps, they think, it's all just a phase, and the child will grow out of it.

But look into another case that the New York Times thinks should be handled differently.

But as advocates gain ground for what they call gender-identity rights, evidenced most recently by New York City’s decision to let people alter the sex listed on their birth certificates, a major change is taking place among schools and families. Children as young as 5 who display predispositions to dress like the opposite sex are being supported by a growing number of young parents, educators and mental health professionals.

Doctors, some of them from the top pediatric hospitals, have begun to advise families to let these children be “who they are” to foster a sense of security and self-esteem. They are motivated, in part, by the high incidence of depression, suicidal feelings and self-mutilation that has been common in past generations of transgender children. Legal trends suggest that schools are now required to respect parents’ decisions.

Children aren't allowed to do a lot of things, including choosing their education, their health care, and even their diet. The reason is patently obvious: children don't have the intelligence, education, experience, and common sense to make these kinds of decisions. Yet they are presumed in this case to know their gender identity, at an age when children's knowledge about the difference between men and women can be summed up with a quote from Kindergarten Cop.

Perhaps the child in this article will, in fifteen years, be living as a woman and say that he always felt he should be a female. But what if it is just a phase?

Picture a three year old boy who did something naughty in public, got scolded by his mother, and started pouting. Later, he spied a little girl being treated very nicely by her mother. All of a sudden, in his three year old mind, he thinks he was treated bad because he's a boy, not because he was naughty.

Is this worth ruining a child's life by allowing his fantasy to continue like this? It does seem unusual to see the child in this article fixating for this long, but if I had to choose between the opinion of a five year old child and a child psychiatrist, I know what I'd choose.


At 3:51 AM, Blogger Marti said...

What are parents to do when their child says he's tired of being a child, and wants to be a roadrunner?"

Is wanting to be a roadrunner, a diagnosable mental disorder?

"What if their child wants to go around naked?"

Is wanting to be be naked, a diagnosable mental disorder?

"Perhaps, they think, it's all just a phase, and the child will grow out of it."

Does one "grow out of" mental disorders?

You've linked to some pretty conservative blogs, and historically conservatives have fought social service organizations in regulating and defining how a child is raised (IE. corporal punishment).

Does the Constitution somehow make this decision by parents and health care professionals any of your business?

GID isn’t something that’s just dreamed up in the heads of the parents. It’s a known, mental disorder that is treatable.

I doubt I could have a logical debate with you on this topic since you seem to discount the psychiatric profession, and rely on "common sense." It was common sense to presocratic Pythagoreans that the earth was flat. It was "common sense" to Thomas Jefferson that women not vote or be educated. It was common sense to George Wallace that African Americans should not have the right to vote, serve on juries, or hold public office.

This debate isn't about transgenderism. It's a debate between science, and "common sense." Do you inspect your truth with a process of evaluating empirical knowledge or do you default to "common sense?"

common sense -A form of evidence that is based on conventional wisdom, tradition, or someone’s personal philosophy or perspective. It is hard to judge the validity and reliability of common sense because little supporting evidence is involved. Most people judge the validity and reliability of common sense by the person citing common sends as the basis for a decision. However, common sense can be a very biased approach to decision making and means nothing more than “what is common to me makes sense.”

science - Science refers to either: the scientific method – a process for evaluating empirical knowledge; or the organized body of knowledge gained by this process.

At 12:11 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Your comment is not very focused, so I'm not sure how to respond. Your attitude shows you are so convinced in the correctness of your viewpoint that you may not listen to any response of mine. But if you're willing to continue this discussion, here's a response.

I found the original New York Times article interesting, in that parents aren't inclined to listen to what their kids want, when their kids want to eat ten cookies or stay up past midnight. Yet activists want parents to follow kids' wishes if they think the child is transgendered.

Oh, visiting a psychiatrist is fine, just so long as the psychiatrist starts from the basis that the child is transgendered. Never mind that some men, both heterosexual and homosexual, do wear women's clothing without believing they were born women. The child knows. Even though the child knows very little about the biological differences between males and females, and nothing about major theories about the construction of gender roles in society, the child knows.


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