Tag Archives: gender as a social construct

Professor says gender is a “social category” hence her study result: Trans children sense their gender identities at young ages

A bunch of junk science in this selective study.

The lead author of this study, Selin Gulgoz, is an assistant professor whose research interests “lie at the intersection of social and cognitive development, with emphasis on children’s reasoning about the social world.”

You can see on her bio that she defines everything about gender in a “social” construct. Her bio states, “I’ve been studying children’s beliefs about the nature of social categories like gender, their understanding of status hierarchies and how they might correspond to differences between people of different genders, and how children’s essentialist beliefs about gender might relate to their attitudes and behaviors toward gender in-groups and out-groups.”

So you can imagine the predicted outcome of a study she recently led for the University of Washington.

Apparently transgender children may start to identify with toys and clothes typical of their gender identity from a very young age. The NBC story states that the confidence of “trans” children in their gender identity is generally as strong as that of cisgender children, whose identity matches their sex assigned at birth. Excerpts from the propaganda:

Trans kids are showing strong identities and preferences that are different from their assigned sex,” lead author Selin Gulgoz said in a press statement. “There is almost no difference between these trans- and cisgender kids of the same gender identity — both in how, and the extent to which, they identify with their gender or express that gender.”

For the study, researchers interviewed 317 transgender children, ages 3 to 12, and 189 of the children’s siblings. They also interview 316 cisgender kids.

Researchers asked the children how much they felt like a boy or girl or something else. They also asked about preferences for toys and clothes that are stereotypically associated with one gender.

The transgender kids showed strong preferences for toys and clothing typically associated with their gender identity, not their assigned sex, the study found. Their preferences didn’t appear to differ based on how long they had lived as their current gender.

The similarities among transgender and cisgender children were surprising, researchers said, because early in life, the transgender kids had been treated as a gender other than the one they currently identify as.

“These findings suggest that children might not be simply learning about gender based on what their parents tell them about their own gender or how they treat them early on (which would be about the gender associated with their assigned sex),” Gulgoz told Reuters Health by email.

“Instead, the findings suggest that children may be selectively attending to broader social messages regarding the gender they feel they are, from early ages,” said Gulgoz did the work at the University of Washington in Seattle and will start a new position this winter at Fordham University.

One limitation of the study is that all the transgender kids lived in families that affirmed their current gender identity, the study team notes. Their experiences might not reflect what would happen for transgender youth who lived in less supportive environments.

Researchers also only looked at children at one point in time. Gender expression or identity for some of them might shift in the future, or their level of support and affirmation might change.”

Read about the “study” here.

DCG

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