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View Full Version : Parents Keep Child's Gender A Secret Following Birth (and other incredulous stuff)



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danceronice
05-25-2011, 02:14 AM
And if they're being disingenuous and the baby IS intersexed, a hermaphrodite, etc, they don't need platitudes, they need to be raised honestly with no-bs medical explanations as they're old enough over what their options are and what's medically necessary. Not be made into a social experiment, which is as bad as the old method of lying to someone about their own body. Nothing's accomplished by lying about a physical, biological reality. Genes are genes, you're born as what you are as far as physical sex goes, you don't have to deny or hide that to raise someone without Leave It To Beaver gender expectations.

agalisgv
05-25-2011, 02:15 AM
Montessori teaching is run by people who actually know how to manage a relatively free-form classroom. This just sounds like parents who are idiots. Could be, but since the article didn't state the parent's background or training, I don't assume they know nothing (though that could be the case).
No child's going to learn everything they need from "letting their interests dictate." According to the article, the oldest who is K/pre-K can already read and write, so apparently they've already learned quite a bit.
For all the yakking about "gender expectations", your DNA is what is, you're either female, male, or have something seriously awry (it's not an intersexed person's fault, but it is a defect.) FWIW, in some Native communities, there are considered to be 12 genders--not just two plus those gone awry. It's common to view gender in binary fashion in Western society, but that isn't universally the case.

Anita18
05-25-2011, 02:18 AM
I don't see it as a social experiment. It seems like these are the parent's values, and the parents are raising their children according to them. I don't see the big deal personally :shrug:

The unschooling sounds similar to Montessori method btw (or at least has some things in common with it). FWIW, research I've seen has shown Montessori students tend to test higher than students taught in a traditional school environment.

WRT the bullying comments, I think some sentiments expressed are at odds with those posted in this thread (http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=78808). OTOH, people were saying in the bullying thread that students need to be taught to respect diversity, but in this case some are arguing a child needs to fit in with others to prevent from being bullied. Seems like a mixed message.

jmho
I agree, I don't see what's the big deal. Presumably they just aren't telling other people what sex Storm is - Storm will presumably know, and the entire family knows too. It's true that people's treatment of someone drastically changes depending on the perceived gender.

And getting a child to fit in to prevent bullying is a fool's errand. Yeah, I should have a nonstutterer and more of an extrovert so I wouldn't be bullied. :o Whatever, that attitude around me wore off once I hit high school anyway, it's so temporary.

However, I also agree that out in the real world, people have to learn to be comfortable presenting different sides of themselves depending on the situation. This not only takes intelligence, but practice and experience. If Jazz is afraid he'll be made fun of at school for dressing like a girl, they could tell him that he can choose to dress in traditional boy's clothing at school, dress like a girl in his free time and still be true to himself. It doesn't have to be one extreme or the other. If anything, they're denying their children the education of navigating social norms and expectations. You don't have to follow them, but you should know about them and have the flexibility to use it to your advantage if you feel the need to. You can't live in a bubble all your life.

But that's more of an observation than anything else, I'm not angry at them for raising their children this way. At least it sounds like it's done out of love and support.

my little pony
05-25-2011, 02:21 AM
I'd give my kid to Amy Chua before these people.

danceronice
05-25-2011, 02:36 AM
Your chromosomes are what they are. You are biologically male or female. (Or a serious genetic mishap, most of which don't survive fetal development.) Nebulous cultural ideas about gender are as misguided as many people take rigid religious strictures on the subject to be. There's no point in fighting biological reality. You're born with what you're born with.

nubka
05-25-2011, 03:12 AM
:scream: :scream: :scream:

Aussie Willy
05-25-2011, 04:04 AM
Rather ridiculous. Personally I don't like that colours get sterotyped (pink for girls and blue for boys which when my nephews and neice were born I steered away from) but to not acknowledge what sex their child is pretty stupid. Because by the time the kid turns 1 or 2 it is going to be pretty obvious. You can't change personality.

agalisgv
05-25-2011, 04:11 AM
Your chromosomes are what they are. True, but which chromosomal charcteristics a society chooses to be definitional of personhood is arbitrary. One could just as easily choose blood type as the defining characteristic of who we are.

That's not nebulous--just pointing out the obvious arbitrary relationship between a particular chromosomal trait and that which defines our personhood.

I realize that may be difficult to fathom if that's your entire cultural context, but it really is a matter of cultural convention only.
You can't change personality. Did they say they wanted to? I thought it was more of a situation where they wanted the child's personality to be appreciated for what it is.

genevieve
05-25-2011, 04:19 AM
I thought it was more of a situation where they wanted the child's personality to be appreciated for what it is.
that's what I got from it to. Some of the comments in this thread are far more :scream: than this family

numbers123
05-25-2011, 04:30 AM
Because by the time the kid turns 1 or 2 it is going to be pretty obvious. You can't change personality.

Because girls have a different personality than boys? :confused::confused:

IceAlisa
05-25-2011, 05:01 AM
True, but which chromosomal charcteristics a society chooses to be definitional of personhood is arbitrary. One could just as easily choose blood type as the defining characteristic of who we are. How does a blood type impact us the same way that the XY or XX chromosomes do, in physiological terms? Would you say having trisomy 21 is the same as having an A+ blood type in terms of societal perceptions?

This whole thing reminds me of a nursing professor who told her students (among which was my friend) that she wanted to raise her daughter in an androgynous environment and let her choose. She bought her trucks instead of dolls (not really giving her a choice, is it). The little girl proceeded to put the trucks to bed and tuck them in. It is what it is.

Similarly, I tried giving my son stuffed animals and even dolls to see what he would do. He had no interest in stuffed animals with one exception of a stuffed crocodile called Neville, that he still sleeps with. Other than that he just dropped them on the floor. At the same time he had an absolute fascination with cars or anything mechanical from pretty much his birth. The one traditionally viewed as female interest of his is cooking.

agalisgv
05-25-2011, 05:06 AM
Societal perceptions are formed in great part by social constructions. If every person with a certain blood type was dressed in orange at birth, and given certain toys to play with, it might seem obvious that that DNA configuration is determinative of personality and such. And who knows, maybe people of a particular blood type do show common affinities. We don't know that though because our society isn't structured around that as a defining characteristic. Rather we choose other markers.

IceAlisa
05-25-2011, 05:12 AM
Societal perceptions are formed in great part by social constructions. If every person with a certain blood type was dressed in orange at birth, and given certain toys to play with, it might seem obvious that that DNA configuration is determinative of personality and such. And who knows, maybe people of a particular blood type do show common affinities. We don't know that though because our society isn't structured around that as a defining characteristic. Rather we choose other markers.

I asked you about trisomy 21. Or any other number of chromosomal abnormalities that affect appearance.

Anita18
05-25-2011, 05:34 AM
This whole thing reminds me of a nursing professor who told her students (among which was my friend) that she wanted to raise her daughter in an androgynous environment and let her choose. She bought her trucks instead of dolls (not really giving her a choice, is it). The little girl proceeded to put the trucks to bed and tuck them in. It is what it is.

Similarly, I tried giving my son stuffed animals and even dolls to see what he would do. He had no interest in stuffed animals with one exception of a stuffed crocodile called Neville, that he still sleeps with. Other than that he just dropped them on the floor. At the same time he had an absolute fascination with cars or anything mechanical from pretty much his birth. The one traditionally viewed as female interest of his is cooking.
For me, gender roles isn't just assuming what the child would or wouldn't like. It's how other people treat the child. For instance, boys are assumed to be much tougher than girls, and girls are assumed to be more chatty. Not to mention girls are "supposed" to be better at verbal and artistic skills and boys are "supposed" to be better at math and analyzing. Foster those beliefs far enough, and they'll definitely affect the child. How many girls were dissuaded from math and science because they weren't a girly thing to do?

IceAlisa
05-25-2011, 05:38 AM
For me, gender roles isn't just assuming what the child would or wouldn't like. It's how other people treat the child. For instance, boys are assumed to be much tougher than girls, and girls are assumed to be more chatty. Not to mention girls are "supposed" to be better at verbal and artistic skills and boys are "supposed" to be better at math and analyzing. Foster those beliefs far enough, and they'll definitely affect the child. How many girls were dissuaded from math and science because they weren't a girly thing to do?

But how do you foster it? By exposing the child to certain item, activities and concepts over others, among other things. The nursing professor wanted to give her little girl a chance to play with toys that are traditionally considered for boys.

Speaking of math and science: the one of the positive things about the FSU is that they encouraged girls to go into science and math just as much as boys. Girls were expected to perform and learn the same way as boys. Lots of women were engineers, doctors and scientists.