Gender neutral parenting? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 97 Old 04-16-2010, 04:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
But I always wonder about the biological tendencies I see-women's smaller waist to hip ratio, men's broader shoulders, bigger hands, more prominent adam's apple. Strength and endurance differences.

If you look at my husband and me from the back, it is clear who is the man and who is the woman. We both possess clearly defined physical attributes that define our sex. Or is it gender? Now I am so confused-it has been too long since I took my anthro and gender politics classes.
Those are physiological differences. They relate to sex. Even then there is no promise that genetics or what's between the legs will mean specifically those features. That's why we use words like "androgynous" to describe some people, and why I know women who have, even from the front, been confused for men and at least one man who gets called "Ms." often enough even when wearing distinctly male clothing.

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#92 of 97 Old 04-16-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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Interesting!

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I do not think that raising your kid gender neutral matters in the gender that your child turns out to be. I do believe that it will just allow your child to have open access to explore things that they wouldn't otherwise get a chance to explore, and give them a place where they can just be them.
I think this says it nicely... As much as raising them in a gender neutral environment does not effect who they will be, I don't think raising a little boy and actually referring to him as a boy will either. It is all about how open and honest you are with you kids.

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I personally will tell my DD that she is a girl until she tells me otherwise. I will however not tell her that that will determine what she should be interested in or how she should dress or treat other people.
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#93 of 97 Old 04-17-2010, 07:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
Do you think that maybe increased aggression (just to name a "male" trait) could not be an issue because you have not always had a male level of testosterone?

My realm of of knowledge and reference in this subject is hardly breathtaking. Knowing two people who made the switch has certainly opened my eyes to viewing gender in a different light and to understanding that while I always thought it was very black and white, it isn't.

But I always wonder about the biological tendencies I see-women's smaller waist to hip ratio, men's broader shoulders, bigger hands, more prominent adam's apple. Strength and endurance differences.

If you look at my husband and me from the back, it is clear who is the man and who is the woman. We both possess clearly defined physical attributes that define our sex. Or is it gender? Now I am so confused-it has been too long since I took my anthro and gender politics classes.
I think it's sex, and gender. The two are linked. Sometimes, like a PP mentioned, someone of a certain sex may not have all of the traditional physical aspects of that sex (like you mentioned, the broad shoulders, Adam's apple, uterus or lack thereof, etc.) but I believe these cases are considered medical anomalies, not in any way the norm or something that you can anticipate or expect. As I understand it.

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#94 of 97 Old 04-17-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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Physical traits such as wider shoulders, different hip to waist ratios etc. are mainly based on hormones and genetics. You will get body type from your genes. But the hip ratios and shoulders and jaw shape etc. are influenced by hormones.
There is no such thing as an "adams apples". The physiology of a male and female throat is the same. Hormones thicken vocal cords and create the look of the adams apple and deepen the voice. If a FTM started hormones as a young teen, they too would "grow" and adams apple. As it is, most on hormones will get a much deeper voice and their neck will change shape after hormones.

After being on hormones for awhile, a persons whole body shape will change. Fat distribution will change and create a male-to-female person to start having more rounded curves, wider hips, softer jaw, etc.
The hormones will also change the hip/waist ratio of female-to-male folks, change the angle of the jaw, skin and hair texture, etc. So yeah, physical attributes are determined by genes and hormones. So basically they are sex based and not gender based.

Sex is the physical aspects of a person being male or female. Gender is the behavioural aspects of male or female. Sex is based in biology and gender is a social construct. What it means to be male and female is different all over the world and the way males and females act and interact are different all over the world. This is based on how society trains males and females to act, dress, react, etc. A social construct.

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#95 of 97 Old 04-17-2010, 11:09 AM
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Kids don't grow up in a vacuum--you have to counteract all of the negative messages other people are giving them about their gender. So I aim for "gender appropriate" parenting, rather than merely "gender neutral."

Also, child psychology tells us that gender identity is really important in young children, so it would be damaging to not give that to a child. If he/she wants to change that later, then of course that's fine. But withholding it altogether is cruel, IMHO.

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#96 of 97 Old 04-17-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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I've only skimmed the first couple of pages, but ITA that, like everything, it's easy to get carried away and take it over the top. Let your kids lead with their interests, and it will be okay in the end, IMO.

I didn't sweat it when my son wanted to cook with me (and he is an excellent cook & baker now! His dorm mates are going to LOVE him!), nor when my daughter wanted me to teach her how to slide (she played baseball with the boys, and was better than most of them). And vice-versa. I suspect it had less to do with what they wore or played with, and more to do with the fact that, as the sole day-to-day parent, they have seen me do it all. From cooking and laundry, to basic car and home repair. I kiss boo-boos but will tell them to suck it up when it's appropriate. There's no such thing as a "man's" job or a "woman's" job in our home. There's just stuff that needs doing.

They're both their own people. Both are secure in their gender identities, w/o needing to flaunt it. A is known for giving "free hugs" in school (every Wednesday!) and "spinning" as he runs around the field in PE, but also stands up as a man. C can get down and dirty with the best of the guys (and kick most of their rears), and turn around and get soft and pretty (since when did "pretty" turn into a dirty word?) and, yes, girly. I say - good for them! They're comfortable with themselves in their entirety, and don't have to pretend one is better than the other.
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#97 of 97 Old 04-17-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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A is known for giving "free hugs" in school (every Wednesday!)....
I just had to laugh when I saw this. DS1 had posts on his facebook around Christmas, reminding everyone to see him at school to collect their "Christmas hug". That was the only time I'd seen someone give out "free hugs". I mean...I had a friend in school who hugged people all the time, but she didn't talk about "giving out" hugs, yk?

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