What we know about TG Children

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  • 1. What We Know About Transgender ChildrenOverview of an academic article
    Presented by
    Isaac Hannagan
    WRTG 3020
    University of Colorado at Boulder
    Apr. 4th 2011
  • 2. Publication
    "Transgender Children and Youth: A Child Welfare Practice Perspective. " appeared in the Child Welfare journal distributed by the Child Welfare League of America Inc. (CWLA) in a special LGBTQ Youth in Child Welfare issue in 2006.
    The CWLA is one of the foremost originations in advocating the well-being for vulnerable children and families.
  • 3. Article Summary
    This article was designed to give social welfare practitioners and educators an introduction to treating transgender children and families from a welfare perspective rather than a pathological perspective
    Gender variant children have been particularly vulnerable to medical treatment in the past
    The authors’ suggestions : rather than be treated for an illness, children should be nourished for who and what they feel they are.
  • 4. Authors: Gerald P. Mallon
    Doctorate in Social Welfare from City University, New York, NY
    Professor and Executive Director of the National Resource Center at the Hunter College Social Work in New York City
    Number of awards including 2007 Academic Book of the Year
    Mallon has been a child welfare practitioner, educator, and researcher for over 30 years
  • 5. Authors:Teresa DeCrescenzo
    Masters degree in Social Welfare from the University of Southern California
    Honored on national level for her 
social work efforts
    Recognized as an icon in the LGBT community since the early 1970’s
    2007 Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement in Health and Mental Health Policy Award
  • 6. Purpose:
    This presentation was constructed to provide an overview of Mallon and DeCrescenzo’s article and relay key concepts in an easy-to-read manner
    I hope to raise awareness and sympathy toward those struggling with stigmas surrounding transgender feelings and behaviors
  • 7. Some Definitions
  • 8. What’s helpful to know in understanding what transgender is
    Sex: refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women
    Gender: refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women
  • 9. Terminology:
    Transgender: While definitions tend to vary: Transgender can be thought of as a set of characteristics applied to behaviors and individuals that don’t unambiguously identify to conventional gender roles according to one’s biological sex.
    Synonymous with: gender variant, gender Dysphoric, or Gender Nonconforming.
  • 10. Aren’t transgender and gay the same?
    A common misconception
    Transgenderrefers to how a person identifies themself as something other than what biology suggests.
    Homosexuality refers to a person’s sexual orientation, being attracted to the same biological gender.
  • 11. Are Transgender children mentally ill?
  • 12. Development as a Pathology.
    Transgender was termed ‘Gender Identity Disorder (GID) in 1980 with the 3rd edition of the Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Medical Manual of Mental Disorders. (Also know as the DSM III)
    GID was defined as: “An Incongruence between assigned sex and gender identity.”
  • 13. Gender Identity Disorder (GID)
    Children were “pathological” for the following criteria:
    Boys playing with dolls
    Boys wearing dresses
    Boys helping in the Kitchen
    Girls Climbing trees
    Girls playing with boys’ toys
    Girls wearing boys clothes
  • 14. According to the guidelines set by the DSM-III these children could have GID
  • 15. C’mon… Is GID really a disorder?
    evaluated as a mental disorder despite the acknowledgement from the American Psychiatric Association that “some of these children, particularly females show no other signs of psychopathology”
    added to the DSM III after homosexuality as a mental illness was removed
    added to DSM III as result of a Government funded “feminine boys” project
  • 16. Feminine Boys Project
    Project was from 1972-1986 funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
    Original government grant goal was for “treatment of pre-homosexuality”
    Mid-1970’s grant goal changed to “treatment of Pre-trassexuality”
    Goal of project was aimed to “keep children from acting queer”
  • 17. “Treatment” for GID
    Those found with GID were subject to :
    Psychological “brainwashing”
    Brutal aversion therapies
    Commitment to mental hospitals
    Removal of gender variant children from supportive families by the police
  • 18. Vulnerability in Children
    Children are particularly vulnerable to “treatments” for GID
    children have no legal ground on what’s deemed right or wrong
    Children cannot refuse treatment for GID
  • 19. So, we’ve evolved since the DSM III…Right?
    In 1994 the DSM IV came out with a new criteria for GID
    Does the condition (being transgender) cause the individual distress?
  • 20. The problem
    How do we evaluate whether being transgender causes distress or whether social ideals cause a gender variant person distress?
    Is it the condition that causes distress?
    Does a person become distressed when they’re told they can’t be what the feel they really are?
    Does being socially ostracized cause distress
  • 21. It’s all perspective
    Gender variant children can be seen in two lights:
    Pathological lens: treated with illness and “treated” accordingly
    Transformational lens: Notion that children can construct their own identity
  • 22. the Big question:
    Why are gender variant children found to be so disturbing?
  • 23. Misunderstanding
    Most don’t understand what’s it’s like to feel like something else
    TG goes against the “natural” relationship between sex and gender
    Failure to adapt to traditional gender norms
  • 24. The solution
  • 25. Parents Start the Nurturing Process
    In many cases parents need proper education about gender variant children.
    Recognizing “gender identity” vs. “sexual identity”
    Developing strategies in dealing with social stigmatization
    Finding mutually acceptable compromises for behaviors
    Keep open communication.
  • 26. Every child needs their families love