We have previously discussed the growing number of stories of young children raised in the opposite gender (here) or without a gender (here and here). The children raised in the opposite gender are often found to have Gender Identity Disorder (GID). Now, a four-year old boy named Zach has been diagnosed with GID and he is being raised as a girl. He began to evidence GID, according to his doctors and parents, when he was three.
His parents insisted that this is what Zach wants and that he insisted on wearing pink dresses and ribbons in his long, blonde hair. In response, his school in Essex changed the kids’ bathrooms to gender-neutral toilets.
I am hesitant to criticize mental health professionals who know a lot more about this case and this condition than do I. However, as a parent of four, I find such a determination at three or four years old to be unsettling. Zach is one of the youngest children in Britain ever to be diagnosed with GID and I am surprised that such a diagnosis can be justified at such an early age. Worse still, his mother Theresa Avery, 32, said Zach played like a ‘normal’ little boy with boy toys etc until as late as 2010 when he began to want to do girl things.
I would be worried that allowing such an extreme change could artificially reinforce what is a passing preference. I have three boys who would occasionally play dress up with girls. While this was pretty limited, it would not have concerned us if it was a regular pattern. However, even if this was a persistent trend, I would not have wanted to alter so much of their lives around the opposite gender. At four, a child is forming critical views and patterns. Parents help in forming those patterns. This is not to question that some people have GID. However, I am very worried about the interventions of this kind at such a young age, including the stories linked above in the use of hormones on children to change their gender orientation.
What do you think?