GodsDesign Sampler FULLSAMPLER-compressed - Page 31

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation:
Our Best Counsel
Brittanie’s ­three-­and-­a-­half-­year-­old daughter, Kaylie, looked directly
at her mother and declared, “I’m a boy! And I want to be called Kyle,
not Kaylie!” Brittanie had noticed Kaylie’s disinterest in typical girl play
(dolls, makeup, playing ­dress-­up, and so forth) and her preference for
­rough-­and-­tumble play with the boys in the neighborhood. Brittanie
had just started her daughter at a local preschool and had been
alarmed to hear that the teacher had announced that children in the
class could decide for themselves whether they were boys, girls, or
something else. What should she do now?
Noah and Kimberly had noticed that their ­fifth-­grade son, Mason,
had seemed moody and withdrawn in recent weeks, but they were
stunned when a close friend said that her child had told her Mason
was being labeled “gay” at school. Their son had always been
sensitive and artistic and did not enjoy ­rough-­and-­tumble games
of football and basketball with other boys. How were they even to
approach the subject? Could he be gay? If they brought it up, would
they seem to be confirming this in his mind? They wondered, Where
do we begin?
G I V E N T H E I N CO N C LUSI V E nature of science regarding the causation of
both gender identification and sexual orientation, we cannot present the
“proven” way to encourage either normal gender identification of a child
with his or her biological sex or normal sexual attraction to persons of the
opposite sex from puberty on. What we can do, however, is suggest our best
understanding of how these things develop, outline possibilities that have
been identified in research or suggested by clinical wisdom and experience,
and then offer some suggestions to parents.


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