Preschool children in many public schools, especially Washington, D.C.-area schools, are now being taught that people can “choose their own gender.” To that end, the National Science Foundation is spending more than $130,000 on a study that asks four-year-olds about their “internal sense of gender identity.
The University of Washington was awarded the grant this summer and is now set to embark on a two-year study, in which researchers will interview 250 four- to six-year-old children and their parents, asking a series of questions about “gendered behavior.”
“Prominent theories of gender development have discussed the degree to which gender identity results from an internal sense of gender and socialization processes,” according to the grant. “However, tests of these theories have been limited because, for most children, internal gender identity and environmental socialization substantially overlap, rendering it impossible to distinguish the relative impact of each factor on gender development.”
The study will investigate “gender theories,” making it seem as though gender is a mental condition rather than a physical, biological fact of life. One such theory being floated is known as Gender Schema Theory, which blames society for differences between genders. The study claims that today, (as opposed to historically) we have a “wider range of human gender experiences,” with something like 3, 37, or 58 genders.
BuzzFeed News Deputy LGBT Editor Sarah Karlan explains this new way of thinking in a video she posted, praising the dating app Tinder for offering its users the choice of 37 different genders.
“It’s super important for dating apps and dating websites to be trans-inclusive because there are trans people who want to date and use these apps and I think that people are finally catching on,” Karlan said. “It’s important not only for people so that they can tailor their profile exactly how they want but also for their own personal safety.”
Karlan was pleased that people are “finally” seeing that gender is “not so black and white.”
“A lot of trans people don’t identify as either male or female in that two-box binary,” she said. “There are genderqueer people, there are people all across the spectrum so it’s important to have the options to either enter what you identify as or pick from a big list. It’s not so black and white and people are finally starting to catch up to that.”
The study will ensure that young children become aware of these new “genders” via questions they will be asked regarding what gender toys they play with and like.
“The project will involve asking 250, 4- to 6-year olds and their parents to complete a battery of measures assessing early and current gender socialization, children’s internal sense of gender identity, children’s gendered behavior (e.g., preferences for gender-typed toys) and measures of related gender cognition (e.g., memory for gender-consistent vs. inconsistent behaviors),” the grant states. “These measures will allow the researchers to examine the relative contributions of internal gender identity and socialization and ultimately provide a more comprehensive theory accounting for early gender development.”
One can only wonder what kind of answers the study will get when they ask four-year-olds to “gender” their toys.
Kristina Olson and Selin Gülgöz are leading the study. Both are involved with the school’s “TransYouth Project,” a longitudinal study of gender development and mental health of transgender children.
The TransYouth Project was featured in the Katie Couric documentary for National Geographic, Gender Revolution.
“Our current research study is recruiting children aged 3–12 who are transgender, gender nonconforming, and siblings of gender nonconforming children,” the website for the project states.
The following video is a wake-up call to parents about what is being taught to very young children in Washington’s public schools. Parents need to educate themselves about the fact that much more than reading, writing and ‘rithmetic are being taught in schools these days, and at an increasingly earlier age.
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