Before puberty, children aren’t normally heterosexual or homosexual. They’re definitely gender conscious. But young children are not sexual beings yet -- unless something sexual in nature has interrupted their developmental phases.
Still, it’s not uncommon for children to experience gender confusion during the elementary school years. Dr. Joseph Nicolosi reports, "In one study of 60 effeminate boys ages 4 to 11, 98 percent of them engaged in cross-dressing, and 83 percent said they wished they had been born a girl."
Evidences of gender confusion or doubt in boys ages 5 to 11 may include:
2. A tendency to cry easily, be less athletic, and dislike the roughhousing that other boys enjoy.
4. A strong preference to spend time in the company of girls and participate in their games and other pastimes.
6. A tendency to walk, talk, dress and even "think" effeminately.
Strong gender roles have served some very well over the years. Those some, of course, are all men. And some of those men are vigorously defending their perceived birthright.
What Dobson is really doing is using the bugaboo of homosexuality to reinforce his preferred gender roles. Unless, says Dobson, your son is acting appropriately boyishly, he very well could turn gay. Homophobia, then, is a useful lever to reinforce age-old sexual stereotypes: girls can't play sports, boys can't cry.
On the absolute scale of girliness, Big Sister Hammer is a clear 10. Little Sister Hammer is probably a natural 5, but Big Sister's example pushes her toward a 6 or 7. We are all Barbie dolls and pretty dresses, with an occasional soccer game to keep dance class from growing stale. And I'm a filthy Kerry-voting liberal. What am I doing wrong?