19

13 comments

[–] ProxyMusic 7 points Edited

The fine print says the kids who are questioning their gender identity at age 11 have entered puberty 2 months earlier than their peers.

More to the point, the paper is useless because it lumps together kids of both sexes as thought puberty in males and females occurs at the same chronological age - and as though 11 year-old boys and girls nowadays are experiencing gender identity confusion, distress and doubt in equal numbers/at equal rates. When researchers in the Netherlands know full well that neither is the case.

Girls on average start puberty 2 years before boys; the normal age range for puberty to begin in girls is 8 to 13. A majority of 11-year-old girls have already begun puberty; for many girls at 11, puberty is quite far along - lots of girls at 11 have developed breasts and are menstruating. By contrast, a majority of 11 year old boys are just starting puberty and are at Tanner Stage 2 or they haven't begun puberty at all yet.

Girls who begin undergoing the physical and emotional changes of puberty of adolescence at the totally normal ages 9, 10, 11, 12 find their lives, their fundamental sense of self, and their sense of feeling at ease with and at home in their bodies totally upended by very real major physical processes that are extremely disruptive, restricting and discombobulating to young girls - menstruation, menstrual pain, the mood changes of the premenstrual phase, the hassle of having to wear bras, having to contend with breasts that jiggle and bounce, sometimes painfully, when engaging in the physical exercise girls used to be able to do unhindered just a few months before.

On top of that, girls undergoing puberty of adolescence are subjected to sexual harassment, groping and unwanted sexual attention and advances from boys and men.

So of course girls in puberty of adolescence are going to have issues over "gender identity." Gender identity is just the latest way girls are being taught to express and act out the normal adolescent angst and distress that girls always have felt about the physical changes, sexual objectification, sexual abuse, diminished social status and closing-off off of life options that girls experience in puberty.

The problem here isn't puberty of adolescence per se. It's the failure of parents, educators and society to adequately prepare girls for puberty long before it starts so they aren't totally thrown by it. And it's the failure of parents, educators and society to take into account all the many "man-made" reasons that at this particular juncture in human history, life is made extremely difficult, unnecessarily painful and often deeply distressing and shameful for girls undergoing puberty of adolescence.