When a very young child, born as a girl, insists she is a boy, what should a family do? Can the biology of developmental dynamics help us think through this conundrum? Commentator Barbara J. King discusses these issues with a noted gender-studies expert.
by Barbara J King
Kathryn's Dad thought she was going through a tomboy phase. Kathryn's Mom suspected it might be something more. From the age of two onwards, Kathryn herself was utterly certain: "I am a boy," the child insisted. Kathryn's story was told on the front page of The Washington Post last Sunday, and I found it a gripping tale. It explores Kathryn's sense, expressed consistently through her toddler years, that she is a boy, and her parents' "upheaval" in trying to do the right thing by their child. When Kathryn was four, after seeking professional counseling, the parents decided to let her live as a boy. Tyler (the pseudonym chosen by the Post for Kathryn's new name) now dresses as a boy and attends preschool as a boy. Is Tyler a ...