By Selwyn Duke
Since time immemorial man has recognized two sexes, male and female, and accepted that boys should be raised as boys and girls as girls. But a small though increasing number of parents are departing from this historical norm. They refuse to divulge their children’s sex — even to the children themselves — with the idea that the kids should be allowed to decide for themselves how to “identify.” They call their offspring “theybies.”
Treating this at American Thinker Wednesday, writer Danielle Greene discusses the latest generation, “Generation Alpha” (you can’t intensify generation gaps without giving each generation its own distinct name). These young people, she writes quoting “gender” studies professor Kyl Myers, are “‘estimated to be the most gender-fluid and anti-sexist generation yet.’”
Myers and her “partner,” as the professor puts it (sounds mighty business-like), Brent, are raising their children in a so-called “gender neutral” fashion. They even gave their child a name obscuring his sex: “Zoomer.”
“Brent and I had found out our child’s sex chromosomes in the early stages of my pregnancy, and we had seen their genitals during the anatomy scan,” Myers wrote at Time last year. “But we didn’t think that information told us anything about our kid’s gender.” What’s more, she has told Zoomer that “some girls have penises and some boys have vulvas.”
Greene suggests that such “parenting” is dangerous. Is “it possible for a child to grow up with a solid identity without knowing his [sex]?” she asks. Will our children benefit from a sex “revolution that completely disassociates their bodies from their identity?”
I reported on this phenomenon back in 2011, showcasing couples who named their children “Storm” and “Pop.” But there’s also now a Facebook “Theyby Parenting” group, which boldly proclaims that there “is no such thing as biological sex.” (They’re right in a way, too: “biological sex” is a redundancy, as “biological human” would be; “sex” is by definition a biological phenomenon.) Like Myers, the group is devoted to using they/them/their pronouns, at least until a child is old enough to choose his own.
There’s a tendency to laugh at this, but Greene points out that it’s no laughing matter. She writes:
Try as they might to give their children a firm foundation for their identity, these parents’ genderless approach actually accomplishes the opposite. It inevitably causes children to grow up with a fractured view of their own identity. Theybies learn that their bodies are not an essential part of who they are as a person; that the biological and anatomical realities they can see with their own eyes are not necessarily to be trusted but are secondary to their feelings. But if anatomy is irrelevant, what is a boy? What is a girl?
How can children like Zoomer or Zyler or Kadyn determine if they are a boy or girl unless their parents give them an understanding of those terms? If a child prefers playing with dolls, princesses, and all things pink, does that make the child a girl? Does a preference for rough-and-tumble play define a boy? Those kinds of gender stereotypes are exactly what parents of theybies say they are anxious to avoid.
But without the biological definitions of boy and girl, all that remains are gender stereotypes and clichés. The natural result is that parents resort to circular reasoning: “A boy is a person who feels like a boy on the inside.” Is that helpful to children trying to understand their own gender identity? Suppose I made up a word, blork. If I told you, “A blork is a person who feels like a blork on the inside,” does that help you understand the meaning of the word blork?
To elaborate, if there’s no biological reality behind “boy” and “girl,” why use the terms at all? Why not just dismiss the concept as a complete fantasy? But if there is a biological reality to it, why deny it?
And would the sexual devolutionaries be consistent in this denial? Consider: If they wanted to breed dogs — let’s say, Neapolitan mastiffs — would they say to a seller, “Give me a male and a female, pick of the litter”?
Or would they say, “Gimme’ any two that look good. I’ll put ‘em together and see what happens!”?
No matter what animals were being bred — cattle, cats, guinea pigs, etc. — the biological phenomenon known as sex would be acknowledged and central to the endeavor. “Sex,” after all, is defined by reproductive function.
Now, are humans, somehow, the only species in which sex is a complete social construct? Really?
In response, some sexual devolutionaries may say that animals aren’t subject to socialization influenced by people’s conception of them as male or female. Myers has said that she doesn’t want her children treated differently based on their sex. In fact, she laments the process of, as she puts it, “childhood gender socialization.”
But let’s gain some perspective. Myers also said that one of the only things she knew after her baby’s sonogram was “that they were human.” But consider: The “gender identity” movement began in deference to people with “gender dysphoria,” the sense that, to define it simply, you’re stuck in the body of the wrong sex.
Yet psychologists also define something known as “species dysphoria,” “the experience … involving the belief of one’s body being the wrong species,” as PatientsLikeMe.com puts it. Given this, shouldn’t open-minded people such as Myers — who wouldn’t dream of imposing an identity on their kids — be concerned about childhood species socialization?
Laugh if you want, but species and sex are both biological realities. If dysphoric feelings alone are enough to justify the denial of one, why not the other?
The point is that raising children is, by definition, all about categorizing, molding, and limiting. We pigeonhole children by putting them in clothing and teaching them language, manners, and the whole range of human norms. We don’t refrain from limiting a child with a “species straitjacket” and say he should be allowed to spread his wings because, well, he may one day identify as a bird.
Yet is it possible that just as we give a child a species-specific upbringing because he’s a human and not an animal, we should also give a boy a sex-specific upbringing because he’s male and not female? Is it possible that what has been dismissed as “sex stereotyping” was born of the recognition of the given sex’s characteristic strengths, weaknesses, and psychological needs and serves to cultivate those strengths and mitigate those weaknesses by, in part, satisfying those needs?
Speaking of which, information is a prerequisite for performing any task properly. To correctly care for a plant or animal, you must know its nature. To correctly use machinery, such as a car, you must understand its nature. Yet we’re told that when children are at issue, what’s under the hood doesn’t matter.
It’s common sense that denying part of a child’s basic nature when rearing him will have consequences. For example, will this sex-neutral parenting lead to an increased incidence of “gender dysphoria”?
We don’t know all the details, of course. But as the saying attributed to Greek philosopher Aristotle goes, “Give me a child till he’s seven, and I will show you the man.” When rearing children, ignoring countless millennia of accumulated knowledge and wisdom in deference to a fad will have certain consequences for them. And some will, no doubt, be permanent.