I just read a fascinating article on npr.org about two boys who feel that they are really girls and what their parents have done about it. Here is the link:
These two boys have two different therapists who have widely different approaches to gender identity disorder. Both boys are only 6, but have displayed leanings toward all things feminine. They want to wear girls' clothes, play with girls' toys, etc. It makes me wonder, though: can 6-year-olds really understand gender and identity? That is the question that experts are asking.
One boy's therapist has the parents basically ban all girl toys and even the playing with female friends from their son's life. This seems really extreme. The boy has difficulty with these new rules even up to 10 months after their institution. I cannot imagine forcing my child to play with different friends and toys and banning all the things he likes. Of course, I also cannot imagine having a child who has gender identity disorder.
The other therapist has the family embrace the son and basically treat him as a daughter. The boy goes to kindergarten as a girl; they alter his name and allow him to wear girls' clothes and even refer to him as a "she." This also seems like an extreme approach.
What do you think about all of this? I don't pretend to be an expert on gender issues, especially transgenderism (is that a word) but I do find it interesting. Mostly, though, I feel sad for kids who have to struggle with these types of issues. As if being a kid isn't tough enough.