Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gender, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation

  • How you would respond to a parent/family member who informed you they did not want anyone who is perceived (or self-reported) homosexual or transgender to be caring for, educating, and/or interacting with their child: Personally, I feel that we live in such a cruel and harsh society as it is and I do not want to raise my children to have ill feelings towards gay people/homosexuals, etc. If I was informed by a family member that did not want anyone who is perceived as homosexual to be cared for/educating/ or interacting with their child I would have a discussion with them and ask them to reconsider. I would bring up examples and things I have learned about the topic as a way of changing their mind. I feel that as a parent and as adults, we need to set good examples for our children and be good role models. One way of doing that is not to teach them to "Dislike" people due to their personal sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, language, religion, etc. I want to raise my children in a home where they know that everyone is different and that everyone difference make them unique. I want them to know that gay people are good people too and they should not be judged. If a family member did inform me that this is how they felt I would do whatever I could to provide them with knowledge/educate them and give clear/good examples as to why they are wrong. One good point that I will make to the family member is that the cycle of prejudice that starts in their home will continue when their children are older. I will simply ask them if this is what they want for their children. I feel like when children get to a certain age it is important to teach them about gays/transgender/lesbians/etc. I think awareness is very important. "
    By starting our discussions about homosexuality and transgenderism early in our children's lives we increase the likelihood that they will grow into tolerant and respectful adolescents and adults."  (Kaeser, 2011)
  • Your response to those who believe that early childhood centers should avoid the inclusion of books depicting gay or lesbian individuals such as same-sex partnered families: At first I had mixed emotions about this topic. Honestly, I have never thought about it until now. My first thoughts were that I don't feel like children should be exposed to certain things/topics until they are old enough to ask questions and understand the answers to them. As parents and professionals, we wouldn't give a young child a book about sex so why should we introduce to them a book depicting gays and lesbians? That seems a bit out of sorts. I definitely feel like this topic shouldn't be introduced until the children are older. Afterall, it is reality and something our children will see when they are grown and out in the real world so it should definitely be talked about. On the other hand my thoughts were: Gays and lesbians are such a big part of reality/life and what would be the worst that could happen with a young child opening a book and seeing two men holding hands or two women kissing. It may confuse them or send off the wrong message to them. When children get to a certain age, I feel like parents should talk to their children about the topic and explain what it is, what it means, what happens, etc but young children don't need to be exposed when they are so young. They wouldn't and don't understand it so what's the point?
  • References:
  • Kaeser, F. (2011). What your child needs to know about sex (and when). Psychology Today, Retrieved from