Monday, February 20, 2012

Study: Gender-non-conforming children face more abuse

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Young boy in girly dress
If you think this boy deserves bullying, you are the problem

Today from the Institute of Sadly Obvious Research:

Children who express gender nonconformity before age 11 face increased risk of being physically, psychologically, and sexually abused, a study published Monday says.

As well, they are prone to suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by early adulthood.

Conducted by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), the study is the first to use a population-based sample to look at gender nonconformity as a risk factor for abuse. It will appear in the March issue of Pediatrics magazine.


The researchers, led by Roberts and senior author S. Bryn Austin, examined data gathered from nearly 9,000 young adults who enrolled in a study, Growing Up Today, in 1996.

The respondents, whose average age was 23, were asked in 2007 to recall their childhood experiences, including favourite toys and games, roles they took while playing, media characters they imitated or admired, and feelings of femininity and masculinity.

They also were asked about physical, sexual, or emotional abuse they experienced and were screened for PTSD.

The study says men who ranked in the top 10th percentile of childhood gender nonconformity reported a higher prevalence of sexual and physical abuse before age 11 and psychological abuse between ages 11 and 17 compared with those below the median of nonconformity.

Women in the top 10th percentile reported a higher prevalence of all forms of abuse as children compared with those below the median of nonconformity. Rates of PTSD were almost twice as high among young adults who were gender nonconforming in childhood than among those who were not.

The report also offers this ready-made refutation for the moronic claim that childhood behavior is supposedly a reliable indicator of adulthood sexuality:

The researchers also found that most children who were gender nonconforming were heterosexual in adulthood, a finding reported for the first time in this study.

"Our findings suggest that most of the intolerance toward gender nonconformity in children is targeted toward heterosexuals," said Roberts.

Not that any of this will stop the bigots from pressuring kids into abiding by strict gender roles, nor from excusing bullying by youthful assholes as being a “normal part of childhood”. The fuck it is; just because something is widespread and unduly accepted (at least by some) does not make it “normal” or acceptable. If your little brat is persecuting other kids for being “different”, it’s your kid who should be having his fingers metaphorically rapped with a ruler, not the other way around.

Bullying – from anyone and for any reason – is abuse of both body and mind. There are absolutely no buts or two ways about it. And once again, we should ask ourselves why behavior that often results in criminal charges for adults suddenly becomes permissible, even excusable, when it’s done to children.