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Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction Reference/Guide/Manual Social Sciences

Gender Independent Kids: A paradigm shift in approaches to gender non-conforming children

By Jack Pyne, 2014

Recent years have seen a substantial change in how children who challenge gender norms (referred to in this article as “Gender Independent”) are regarded by professionals, by their families and by the public at large. Pathologized and treated for decades as a mental illness, childhood gender non-conformity would seem to be imbued with new meaning, as evidenced by a growing number of public voices claiming gender variance as part of human diversity. Call it a paradigm shift: from disorder to diversity, from treatment to affirmation, from pathology to pride, from cure to community. This commentary article reflects on recent shifts in language, shifts in identity options, and shifts in the focus of intervention with gender non-conforming children. Drawing on existing research and public discourse, I consider what the field of human sexuality can learn from “Gender Independence.”

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