Planned Parenthood released updated parental guidance on how to talk to kids about sex.
The new website—while maintaining its progressive stance on sex and sexuality—added pages of new advice on how parents should talk about and respond to their children regarding gender identity and transgenderism, including sections for parents of preschoolers on how to explain the difference between gender and sex, and how to know if your child is transgender.
The previous site recommended parents answer children’s questions about sex and genitals with no-nonsense gender distinctions, for example:
“Q. How come I have a penis and you don’t? A. Boys have penises and girls have vulvas.”
But the new site blurs gender distinctions at every turn.
In the section entitled “How do I talk to my preschooler about their body,” the site says it is important for children ages 0-4 to understand words like boy, girl, man, and woman describe someone’s gender, not their sex.
“Your genitals don’t make you a boy or a girl,” the article claims. Planned Parenthood instead recommends telling preschoolers “some people with the gender identities ‘boy’ or ‘man’ have vulvas, and some with the gender identity ‘girl’ or ‘woman’ have penises/testicles.”
And while the old site had little information about gender identity, the new site warns parents anything but complete affirmation of a child or teen’s perceived gender could cause extreme harm. Parents are encouraged to let children choose their clothes, haircuts, and pronouns as early as age 3, and eventually let them make the decision to medically transition. That advice is a little self-serving. Planned Parenthood has started offering hormone replacement therapy for men and women wanting to change genders.
“Trying to steer your kid toward a more typical gender expression if that’s not their instinct does more harm than good,” the article says.
“Gender identity for children is elastic (that is, it can change over time) and plastic (that is, it can be shaped by forces like parental approval and social conditions),” according to a report by three renowned doctors and academics published last month in the journal The New Atlantis.
The report pushes back on the unquestioning acceptance of “gender affirmation” by doctors, therapists, and activists, instead warning that affirming gender expression from the earliest evidence of cross-gender behavior—as Planned Parenthood advocates—may “drive some children to persist in identifying as transgender when they might otherwise have, as they grow older, found their gender to be aligned with their sex.”
The report notes the best, most widely accepted studies continue to find the vast majority of children with gender dysphoria eventually come to embrace their biological gender, and that sadly those who persist in a transgender identity are disproportionately likely to suffer from a variety of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and suicide.
— by Kiley Crossland