Apparently children as young as 4 are not too young to be told that gender and sex are different and that their genitals don’t indicate their gender, according to new Planned Parenthood guidelines for parents.
On a page of its website titled “How do I talk with my preschooler about their body?” the abortion provider says if a child inquires why boys and girls have different bodies, a parent should introduce the concept of transgender identity.
“While the most simple answer is that girls have vulvas and boys have penises/testicles, that answer isn’t true for every boy and girl,” the organization says. “Boy, girl, man and woman are words that describe gender identity, and some people with the gender identities ‘boy’ or ‘man’ have vulvas, and some with the gender identity ‘girl’ or ‘woman’ have penises/testicles. Your genitals don’t make you a boy or a girl.”
Parents should then point out to their child, the page continues, that genitals do not definitively establish gender, and that their children “can make that decision based on your values and how you plan to talk with your kid about gender as they grow up.”
Critics, mainly from conservative ranks, say Planned Parenthood’s encouragement of parents to discuss gender identity with children who barely can string a sentence together and haven’t yet learned the alphabet is preposterous.
Some people with the gender identities ‘boy’ or ‘man’ have vulvas, and some with the gender identity ‘girl’ or ‘woman’ have penises/testicles. You genitals don’t make you a boy or a girl.
“Gender is not fluid, either you have a penis or you don’t,” said Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Association, a Mississippi-based group that promotes conservative values. “What Planned Parenthood is promoting here is just stupidity masked as sensitivity. If you’re an adult and trying to talk to a child about whether they’re really a boy or girl, you’re at risk of harming them psychologically.”
“Unless a boy or girl is exhibiting behavior or says that they’re messed up about what they are, there’s no reason to bring something like that up” at such a young age, he said.
What Planned Parenthood is promoting here is just stupidity masked as sensitivity.
Efforts to obtain a comment from Planned Parenthood were unsuccessful.
Critics also say that Planned Parenthood’s suggested talking points are misleading.
“Of all the things it is — absurd, irresponsible, pretentious — one thing it definitely is not is scientific,” New York Daily News columnist S.E. Cupp wrote about the guidelines. “If you do need help talking to your kids about gender and gender identity — and there’s no shame in that — please, use real science as a guideline, and not garbage propaganda.”
“The truth is, sex is more complicated today. But the conversations you’ll more likely need to have with your kids will center on technology — the dangers lurking on the internet, sexting, revenge porn — and not anatomy.”