Posted By Suzy M. on August 07, 1999 at 18:04:53
My sister's son is almost 5 yrs.old and since we all can remember, he's loved playing with dolls-especially Barbies and is very feminine. He loves dressing and pretending he's a girl, skipping and dancing like most girls his age would play. His heros are all girls. He NEVER plays in a boy character and has told his mother he is sad he's a boy.
My sister has never encourages his play with dolls and such but there are times when other kids and PARENTS make comments. How can she protect her son..how can we as family help??
Do we DIScourage his play with girl toys. He's an extremly bright little boy and senses the disatisfaction when people make comments. Are there studies to detect early signs of being gay?
H E L P!!
Posted By LAC on August 12, 1999 at 17:25:45
Please do not shame your child for wanting to play with certain toys. I am a child psychology student and have worked with children for over eight years- I also was a preschool teacher. This sounds like normal behavior to me- and the more it is discouraged, the more it'll probably escalate. Your son needs to always feel loved, appreciated and accepted for who he is, not who he "Should" be. I have known little boys who secretly played with dolls up until age 12 that turned out to be heterosexual and emotionally healthy. Whether or not your child will grow up to have homosexual or heterosexual feelings isn't related to the toys he plays with or the roles he plays in games. Sexuality is a combination of social, psychological and genetic components. In the gay men that I know personally, sexual abuse by a male adult in childhood was what they feel contributed to their homosexual leanings. None of these men reported playing with dolls any more than any other boy- in fact, many of them played with the traditional trucks, cars and action figures. Your child is learning about the world around him, and by doing so, he is taking on roles that he wants to explore- it's interesting to a 5 year old boy to wonder what its like to be a girl, and likewise for girls. When I was six, I was obcessed with wanting to "be a boy". I turned out to be a healthy functioning woman.
Posted By LAC on August 12, 1999 at 17:29:23
In addition to what I wrote, I do want to make a comment regarding your son's comments that he is sad to "be a boy". You may want to speak to a child psychologist about this- it seems as though something is troubling him about who he is. Otherwise, as far as play goes, he is a perfectly normal 5 year old!
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