Guest post: They learn what they think are rules

Originally a comment by Sastra on Catching them early.

Kids are more likely to understand a wide spectrum of gender…

Kids are more likely to “understand” that if you put a dress on a Ken doll he becomes a girl. Children are notoriously sexist in that they learn what they think are rules about what the sexes can and can’t do and apply them strictly.

I read one of those “gender guides” aimed at the elementary grades — with the teacher’s notes — and the first few lessons were exemplary basic feminism. Boys can play with dolls and they’re still boys; girls can roughhouse and they’re still girls. Reject gender roles and assumptions! Teachers were warned how children are already prejudiced and judgmental about what makes a real girl or real boy. Let’s help them to be free to be themselves!

Then it took a sudden swing to “gender identity” and now kids were pure, uncontaminated, and completely trustworthy in knowing whether they’re a boy, girl, both, or neither. It’s not at all about stereotypes they’ve picked up culturally. It’s about knowing who you are, absent any of that. Let’s help them be free to be themselves!

If they do the first part, they’ve taken care to distance Gender Identity Theory from children being so rigid when it comes to sex and gender.

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