Recent headlines have sparked heated debate about whether boys should be allowed to dress as girls. For example, a 5-year-old boy in Seattle who enjoys things traditionally for girls, such as jewelry, the color pink, and dresses was supported and encouraged by his mother, who wrote a book about him called “My Princess Boy”. A J. Crew ad featured a mother painting her young boy’s toenails hot pink (CBS News, 2011 April 13). Reactions ranged from outrage and disbelief to support of the mothers.
On the flipside, girls who shun traditionally “girly things” such as dresses and flowers in favor of more traditional “boy things” such as watching or playing sports, rough-and-tumble play, and choosing boys as friends are often called tomboys.
For either sex, choosing to engage in activities traditionally reserved for a specific sex can result in teasing and accusations of homosexuality.
- Using research gathered from your textbook, online course content, and at least 1 research article, analyze the above scenarios.
- Are the behaviors discussed above (i.e., preferring things traditionally acceptable for a specific sex) indicative of homosexuality? Why or why not?
- Describe the psychological consequences (positive and negative) that might result from engaging in behaviors reserved for a specific sex?
- Develop an argument for or against concern that these children might be exhibiting a paraphilia.
- Which paraphilia(s) might apply and what criteria would you use based on the research?
- What, if any, intervention would you recommend to a parent whose little girl or boy expresses the desire to engage in behaviors typical of the opposite sex? If you do not believe intervention is necessary, explain why.
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