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Increase in transgender children.

(161 Posts)
mumtoaninja Tue 07-Apr-15 18:18:02

Don't shoot me if this is in the wrong section...I'm fairly new and still trying to navigate my way around!
Anyway, I watched an item on the news today about an increase in the number of transgender children being referred by gps.
My very first thought was is this generational? These days, parents are much more relaxed about what their darling offspring play with. Boys are happily playing with dolls and other 'pink' stuff and girls are playing more rough and tumble 'boys' games than they did maybe 50 years ago. Don't get me wrong, I've never encouraged my children (girl & boy) to play with gender specific toys, however they have both steered towards such toys. DS is mad on action figures/cars/gross stuff whereas my DD loves anything pink and sparkly. Each has had ample opportunity to play with the others toys, also at nursery and play dates but they choose not to. I do know several parents who push dolls and such on boys because 'why shouldn't their boy have a baby doll' etc.
Genuine question - is our new found open-mindedness causing children to grow up feeling confused about their gender?

Sirzy Tue 07-Apr-15 18:21:07

No.

Now perhaps the fact that these things are more openly discussed makes more people feel comfortable to speak up about their feelings and the fact they aren't comfortable in their body but that is a good thing rather than people living a "lie" and struggling with the confusion.

mumtoaninja Tue 07-Apr-15 18:23:32

But how can a child (im taking under 7) possibly know they are born in the wrong body?

mumtoaninja Tue 07-Apr-15 18:24:15

*talking

Sirzy Tue 07-Apr-15 18:24:21

Having never experienced it I don't know, but that doesn't mean those feelings shouldn't be taken seriously.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Tue 07-Apr-15 18:24:49

DH and I were saying exactly the same as you earlier OP.

pootlebug Tue 07-Apr-15 18:27:09

'Is our new found open mindedness causing children to grow up confused by their gender?'

IMO, no - it is allowing them to come forward with their experiences, honest views, fears etc where previously they would have pretended they didn't feel that way.

FloraFox Tue 07-Apr-15 18:31:17

If we were open minded about the fact that little boys can like dolls and sparkles and that doesn't mean they are not boys, they would be a lot less confused. I know lots of men would liked dolls and skirts when they were kids. They are mostly happy gay men now. I dread to think what would have happened to them if their parents had thought they could have a straight transgirl rather than a gay boy.

Timetoask Tue 07-Apr-15 18:38:37

I think it is possible that there has been an environmental impact on the hormones and brain development of the recent generations. It is well known for example that young girls are starting their periods sooner than before.
There are some articles (if you have time to google) about the impact of hormones injected in meat for example, and also the pollution caused to water after years and years of using the pill. (disclaimer, I am not an expert in the subject, but what I've read seems to make sense to me).

mumtoaninja Tue 07-Apr-15 18:59:56

All interesting and valid points.
It can only be a good thing these days that some people aren't so quick to judge therefore people find it easier to ask for help with such issues. I guess theres more research etc on gender dysphoria now too so 'diagnoses' (for want of a better word) are easier to come by for these children.

FloraFox Tue 07-Apr-15 19:21:23

I don't get how this is considered non-judgemental. A boy likes dolls and he's told he's a girl. The judgement is stark.

mumtoaninja Tue 07-Apr-15 19:59:07

But he's not though, not anymore. It's much more acceptable (on the whole) for boys to play with dolls & 'girly' toys these days. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's encouraged esp in playgroups/childcare settings and such like as I've seen from stay and play sessions with my children.

PomeralLights Wed 08-Apr-15 11:33:32

What makes me sad about this is pre-pubescent children having such strong concepts of gender. I'm not disputing that some people are born in the wrong body, however, young children have very little physical differences. Until puberty hormones kick in, how would know you are in the wrong (now clearly differentiated) body? I think this answer is that society aggressively socialises little boys and girls to fit into the 'box' of the behaviours/likes/wants of their gender. That's such a shame. And agree with Flora, must make it harder for homosexuals who have some 'camp' (boys) or 'tomboyish' (girls) behaviours to just be happy in themselves. sad

PomeralLights Wed 08-Apr-15 11:37:37

After all OP your comments about little boys being encouraged to play with sparkly things/dolls clearly show that you think there ARE boys vs girls toys, and playing with the 'wrong' set encourages gender confusion. If people like you didn't have such strong concepts of gender for small children, there wouldn't be anything to get confused about!

Jackieharris Wed 08-Apr-15 11:52:32

Kids' toys and clothes are a lot more 'gendered' today than in the 70s & 80s.

Go onto the feminist section and ask about the 'girls' Lego for example.

These days girls and boys are pushe far more into prescribed toys & clothes according to gender than the previous generation was.

There was a thread a few week ago about how hard it is to find kids clothes that don't have butterfly's or dinosaurs on them! Mumsnet even has a campaign 'let toys be toys' on this. There is the 'pink stinks' campaign' and the lobbying to elc & clarks over their sexist marketing of their products.

Some parents are trying to fight against this by offering a full variety of toys to both their DCs but it's an uphill struggle.

The issue of trans kids has arisen because 1) the medical technology is available (and free) 2) some parents have a gender preference for their DC so try to make their child the gender they wanted regardless of their birth sex 3) some patents' homophobia- they would rather have a trans DC than a gay one 4) the growth in public awareness of trans in general 5) the lack of public awareness of the difference between sex & gender 6) the lack of knowledge of the long term health effects of these treatments

mumtoaninja Wed 08-Apr-15 16:52:27

People like me? I've already said I've neither encouraged nor discouraged my children to play with any particular toy. I merely stated I've seen it encouraged in childcare settings.
How does a 6 year old boy know he's been born in the wrong body just because he likes playing with dolls and prams? People are too quick to put a label on things these days imo.

VirginiaTonic Wed 08-Apr-15 16:57:00

You cannot be born in the wrong body! You may have a psychological condition that causes you to believe this to be true, but the brain, which determines our personality, is one with and part of your body.

Heckler Wed 08-Apr-15 17:14:49

I think that there is MORE pressure to conform to all this gender bullshit these days. And if you don't then you need a label.

(we used to just call them new romantics back in my day wink )

I would like to abolish feminine and masculine and say you can dress however you like, and do whatever, no matter what your biological sex.

tibbysmum Wed 08-Apr-15 18:04:04

oh ffs, people don't transition just because they want to wear a dress/play with train sets. What about FTMs? to state "you cannot be born into the wrong body" is just plain ignorant. Whether you like it or not Trans people exist!

GoGiYerHeedAWobble Wed 08-Apr-15 18:13:44

My son is 10, he is also biologically female.

He genuinely feels that he was born into the wrong body, he has suffered so much heartache, prejudice, rejection and bigotry about the way he lives his life.

To say the way that he, and other children like him feel is down to being gay or prefering a certain toy is bloody insulting.

It's been a very long road but he is happier now than he has ever been because he feels more like himself.

It's not a 'quick label' to pin on a child. It's a long, hard and difficult process to go through involving many professionals and having your whole family life scrutinised.

I'd hazard a guess that anyone who is being so flippant about it hasn't lived through it.

Floundering Wed 08-Apr-15 18:26:01

"You cannot be born in the wrong body! You may have a psychological condition that causes you to believe this to be true, but the brain, which determines our personality, is one with and part of your body."

Try telling that to my teen son (born a girl) when he is so filled with dysmorphic self loathing that he would rather be dead than have breasts and a vagina.

The reason there are more trans kids coming to the fore is that questioning is supported earlier and it is becoming more accepted (painfully slowly) that there are kids who are different, and that whether it is gay, trans, or just questioning that makes them feel different isn't it brilliant that things are more open than ever before?(albeit still a long way to go until it isn't an issue)

I also think there is still a lot of confusion over very young children and their trans feelings, they KNOW they are a girl/boy, it is not a sexual thing it is their gender identity, their sense of self. Being forced by society to conform to something that makes you so terribly unhappy is immensely damaging long term.

By allowing young children to dress and play as they wish and express themselves as they wish without gender bias will allow them to explore what they feel is right for them and then later in life they can choose to transition medically if it is right for them, after loads of counselling and blockers which just put a pause on puberty so that they can not have the trauma of becoming the "wrong " sex.

Floundering Wed 08-Apr-15 18:27:55

Gogiyer x-posted with you but totally agree with you xx

tibbysmum Wed 08-Apr-15 18:30:26

Thank Christ those children were born to you parents GoGi and Floundering flowers

PomeralLights Wed 08-Apr-15 18:30:35

GoGi I hope you weren't upset by my post. I'm genuinely confused about young children knowing they are trans.

I guess to me the things that I feel make me female are all physical things resulting from female hormones in my body. I felt that the differences between boys and girls only became stark during puberty. I can 'easily' (don't want to sound flippant using that word) see how seeing the children around you maturing into distinct males and females - with all the different desires and behaviours the hormone surges result in - might trigger a realisation you are in the wrong body.

I guess I'm struggling to see how a younger than puberty child can see many differences between boys and girls, enough to be sure they are in the wrong body?

Sirzy Wed 08-Apr-15 18:32:36

I was about to posts hen same as tibby. They are two lucky to children to have such supportive parents and I hope you are both beinh given the support you need x

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