Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

dfishervan's picture


During today’s discussion, I found myself thinking about a recent controversy that arose at a local elementary school. Parents were informed that a third grader who was raised as a boy was now to be referred to as a girl. In class, we established that biology argues for a non-bimodal categorization of gender. However, we did not discuss the timing concerning when a person identifies where they feel they belong in this gender spectrum. I know that many transgender people claim that they were aware of their true sexual identity from birth. While I believe it is possible for a person to be aware of their true sexual identity early on, I wonder if that means that the person should publicly assert this identity at such an early stage. I do not doubt that at the moment, the third grader identifies as a girl. However, if one major component of sex is biology, which includes hormone levels, what happens when this third grader reaches puberty, a period when our hormones run rampant?  I am not an endocrinologist but, I wonder if puberty will have any effect on the third grader’s perception of his or her own gender. I hope that I am not offending anyone but, when I heard about this story, this was my first thought. I commend the parents of this third grade boy for accepting their child and for going to great lengths to help their child feel comfortable in her skin and the classroom.  However, I am unsure about their decision to publicly announce their child’s sexual identity at such an early age, one which is typically filled with make believe and dress up games. I would be interested in hearing other people’s thoughts on the matter.



The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
8 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.