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Nursery and gender

(29 Posts)
Goldencurtain Sun 16-Aug-20 12:27:33

Hello, my child is about to start nursery and I've been sent a 'getting to know you' form about him and the second question asked after 'name' is 'gender'. Until I was radicalised by Mumsnet, ha! I also didn't understand the difference between sex and gender, and why it matters.

I want to say something to them about why it needs to be sex not gender, but I don't know what exactly and how to put it without sounding like a knob. It's the start of my relationship with them and don't want to come across as a difficult parent.

Help!

OP’s posts: |
Siameasy Sun 16-Aug-20 12:32:01

Is it a paper form? Our nursery did that and as it was paper I just crossed it out and put sex

Shakirasma Sun 16-Aug-20 12:32:12

I wouldn't make a big deal of it as you want to start your relationship with them on a non confrontational note. I would amend the form by crossing out gender and writing sex instead to make the point at this early stage and address any future issues on a case by case basis.

Jellyeggs Sun 16-Aug-20 12:33:57

Id just answer the question as if they mean sex, because a lot of places are still using the terms interchangeably. You’ll make more of an impact if you wait for something properly offensive to make your point and sandwich it between displaying your utter reasonableness as a parent. In my experience. Others may disagree.

missyB1 Sun 16-Aug-20 12:34:39

Yes just amend the form and write sex. I do it all the time

Goldencurtain Sun 16-Aug-20 12:36:50

Thanks everyone, it's a form I'll fill in on google docs. Would you still cross it out there?

OP’s posts: |
amb885 Sun 16-Aug-20 12:38:52

jesus.

sunyla Sun 16-Aug-20 12:42:55

Might be something to bring up later on as your first impression is important. I also think they'd be more receptive once you've built a good relationship with them.

Scout2016 Sun 16-Aug-20 12:48:49

Judging by the things we have had home from my DD's nursery over the years I wouldn't assume they are trying to be PC, they probably don't know the difference and thing gender sounds nicer than sex. So I'd probably leave it and only complain if she is only ever given the kitchen stuff to play with and not the trucks, if you see what I mean.
We've had stuff like mother's day cards "made" by DD with awful grammar but they are good with the kids and I figure it doesn't matter at their age if their worker doesn't get apostrophes.

Cwenthryth Sun 16-Aug-20 12:51:10

Crossing out gender and amending to sex is pretty standard practice now I think. If it’s possible to do that on google docs I’d do that.

SocialMedea Sun 16-Aug-20 12:52:56

If your child is about to start at a nursery that might have been Stonewashed then this question could be the least of your problems.

DifficultPifcultLemonDifficult Sun 16-Aug-20 12:53:19

When my, now grown up, son was at nursery it was gender on the form, not sex.

Not everything requires an argument.

TheShoesa Sun 16-Aug-20 13:15:23

When your now grown up son was at nursery, the words were probably still being used interchangeably DifficultPifcult

But given the drive to remove single sex provisions to make them single gender (ie mixed sex) I do think it's important to make the distinction where possible

DifficultPifcultLemonDifficult Sun 16-Aug-20 13:50:18

Very few people know the importance of sex vs gender than I do, believe me, it is part of my every day life.

There are enough actual issues to resolve without someone newly 'radicalised' getting all excited because they feel like they have a tangible reason to jump on the bandwagon now.

SheWhoMustNotBeHeard Sun 16-Aug-20 13:56:56

My best advice to you is leave it for now and once you've built a positive relationship with the nursery then bring it up. The chances are the nursery are just using it as interchangeable word for sex, what with us being British and all.

TooWarmAgain Sun 16-Aug-20 13:57:56

They might know exactly what 'gender' means, though, and be using it intentionally.

I'd cross it out.

If they queried it, I'd explain.

My school have replaced sex with gender on all their forms and docs and that is exactly what they mean. Gender. Not sex.

SheWhoMustNotBeHeard Sun 16-Aug-20 14:01:03

You might be right but it's still be more powerful to say something once you have a relationship with the nursery, rather than the admin who might not even notice it. OP can do both, of course. smile

Quillink Sun 16-Aug-20 14:18:05

My school have replaced sex with gender on all their forms and docs and that is exactly what they mean. Gender. Not sex

I find this astounding. Why do they care how feminine or masculine the students are? How does this affect what is taught and how it is taught? What nonsense.

OP I'd just cross it out and write sex. It would be craziness to talk about the stereotypical femininity or masculinity of toddlers. So I assume they do mean sex.

jellyfrizz Sun 16-Aug-20 14:18:22

The chances are the nursery are just using it as interchangeable word for sex

Maybe, so why wait to mention it? They’ll just say ‘oh, yes we mean sex’. If you wait months it’ll seem really weird to bring it up then.

RaveOnThisCrazyFeeling Sun 16-Aug-20 15:12:08

They are probably using it to mean sex, and if you correct it, they may take your view to be that while you acknowledge your son is biologically male, you think it's too early to 'assume his gender' in case you're lucky and special enough that he gravitates toward the princess dress up and therefore can soon be declared a unicorn mermaid girl.

CharlieParley Sun 16-Aug-20 15:43:35

RaveOnThisCrazyFeeling

They are probably using it to mean sex, and if you correct it, they may take your view to be that while you acknowledge your son is biologically male, you think it's too early to 'assume his gender' in case you're lucky and special enough that he gravitates toward the princess dress up and therefore can soon be declared a unicorn mermaid girl.

That's precisely what I have done for the last few years. On paper forms I cross out gender, write sex and then fill it in. I don't mention it afterwards, but if any teachers asked my children about it, they just shrugged their shoulders and said that was my mum (happened v rarely and can't say it made any difference in the relationship).

On online forms where that is not possible, I choose other if that option is available and write my child's sex is ... And again I don't mention it unless someone says something to me about it.

Anyone asked I used to reply that it's not my place to assume my child's gender but I know their sex. These days I would ask if they want to know whether my child has a preference for the sex stereotypes and sex role stereotypes associated with one or the other sex or if they want to know the sex of my child.

However, I'm very much at the other end of my parenting journey when it comes to school education and nursery from you Goldencurtain, so I don't have those worries anymore. I've been a parent at various schools for 18 years now and the one we're at now, they have so many other problems, they don't really care about my opinions.

attackedbycritters Sun 16-Aug-20 17:14:53

Why does a nursery actually need to know the child's sex ? It's a protected characteristic, it has no relevance in a nursery unless they want to start training children according to gender stereotypes, in which case I would run a mile.

SheWhoMustNotBeHeard Sun 16-Aug-20 17:24:50

attackedbycritters

Why does a nursery actually need to know the child's sex ? It's a protected characteristic, it has no relevance in a nursery unless they want to start training children according to gender stereotypes, in which case I would run a mile.


What? Have you seen the forms parents/care givers have to fill in? They ask for endless details. Name, dob, sex, ethnicity are just some of the basics. It's for statistical purposes. How well have the boys progressed compared to the girls? What about boys in free school meals category? Girls from BAME groups? What is the attainment of summer born boys compared to girls. All this information needs to collated.

attackedbycritters Sun 16-Aug-20 17:46:32

I took it as a private preschool age nursery,,,not sure that free school meals etc is relevant in that context

Smallsteps88 Sun 16-Aug-20 17:50:34

Just put a line through gender and write sex. Alternatively leave the answer blank as presumably your baby hasn’t expressed any conformity to identity based on gender stereotypes.

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