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Avatar universal

a three year old girl who insists she's a boy!

Is this troubling or normal? My granddaughter, so far an only child, who is a happy, bright, confident and active little girl (she'll turn 3 in a few weeks), has been driving her parents crazy lately because she absolutely insists that she is a BOY!! This has been going on since she was about two and a half -- she won't wear girl's clothes or let them put her hair up out of her eyes because "Boys don't do that." If you say to her, "It's okay to pretend you're a boy, but you're really a girl", she gets angry and says, "No, I'm REALLY a boy." If you point out she has a vagina, she says, "No, it's a peanuts." (She has tried to pee standing up at the toilet, with less than successful results.) At the same time, her imaginative play is all about her dollies, which she seems blithely unaware is considered feminine. Her parents are a little worried about what this means -- the most concession they've gotten out of her is "When I'm three maybe I'll be a girl." She's always been very bonded to her daddy and her older male cousins, and she plays well with the kids at daycare and this past year they happened to be mostly boys. But I've seen other girls who adore their daddies but don't want to BE male. How should this be handled? No one we know has had any experience with young children exactly like this.
9 Responses
242606 tn?1243782648
I'd guess that this response is a product of relying on her relationships with boys and identifying with them. This is really not anything that should prompt alarm at her age. It will be helpful for her to have relationships with both boys and girls, so if relationships with girls are lacking, her parents can make some adjustments in her routine to provide for this.
Avatar universal
hi,i also have this same dilema that i'm worried sick over. i have a 3yr4mos old son who swears he's a girl.this has been going on now for 8mos and seems to be getting worse. i have taken the advice of other people and have tried not to worry but this situation seems to have become an obsession. he now wakes up very early ,6:30am and immediately wears his dress[he takes his shirt and pulls arms out and wears like a skirt],puts his makeup on,[chapstick],takes his older sisters hair accessories,shoes,socks,jewelry,etc. then we have to fight to get him ready for daycare. he plays only with the girls,and all he wants to do at daycare is dressup.he also only likes to play with barbies,dolls or anything frilly,he then immediately repeats this at 6pm when he gets home and the struggle is at bedtime to put on pjs.i recently talked to an r.n. who is a counsler and she brought to my attention "gender idenity disorder" ,i'm currently trying to locate a doctor and i'm very confused and worried. i just dont want to harm him with any wrong words ,so do we let this continue or insist that this stops? signed loving mother
242606 tn?1243782648
As I indicated in the other reply, with children so young (i.e., pre-school), this is generally not a problem that requires specialized treatment. Concern is appropriate when the child is conveying that there is something negative about their gender and that they feel compelled to be the opposite gender. But, in most situations, pre-schoolers do not have any such perception. It would be prudent to check this situation out, chiefly because of the persistence it reflects. Be sure you schedule the appointment with a mental health clinicianwho specializes in the pediatric population. Gender identity confusion is a condition that manifests itself, usually, in older children and teenagers. But it would be worthwhile to investigate the perceptions that go hand-in-hand with the behavior your son is demonstrating.
Avatar universal
My son did what your son does: only played dollies, dressed up constantly, told me not to cut his hair because he wanted girly long hair, wore clippies and for some reason it never even ccured to me that this could be unusual. We just played princes or nurse or whatever. In school he also dressed up and nobody there seemed to be surprised. When he was 5 another boy in class told him he could not be a nurse, because that was "only for girls". Slowly but surely he did away with the princess dress, the clippies etc. He is still a very sensitive "girlie" kind of boy (he is 8 now), his best friend is a girl. But he also plays soccer (not that girls could not do that), climbs trees (dito) and seems very confident being a boy. I would not worry at all (but I assume that is not really an option as you do worry). Give him time. If this is still happening when he is 6, then I would look for help..
Avatar universal
I ran across this Site while looking for more information concerning our 10 yr. old son who has be diagnosed with a
mild form of ADD.  I could not but help but read with interest your discussion concerning your young children, who seem to insist that they are of the opposite gender.  The discussion holds great interest to me, as in the process of having our son evaluated for ADD, it was noted that he maybe also a rossdresser (Medical Terminology- Transvestite) also referred more widely to as being Transgendered.

I was aware that such individuals existed but I was not aware to what extent this phenomenon occurred in everyday life, until I started researching more about it.  First let me try to define what I have learned that a Transgendered or Crossdressing person is; This is a person who likes or has a desire to wear the clothes and assume the persona of the opposite sex. This phenomenon seems to originate at birth by most personal accounts and continues thorough out the person life.  There has been very little research done as to the actual cause of this phenomenon
which seems to occur in (and again no definitive figures exist) but seems to occur in from 1 in 100 to 1 in 10  births. The prominent 'theory' is, from what I understand, that during the first trimester of pregnancy the fetus receives a Hormonal Wash, which is responsible in part for determining our brain' s gender and in these individuals the wash is some how different. (Sorry, I am not a medical expert).  Dr. Vitals Web Site discusses it
much better than I can. http://www.avitale.com/GID.html   But the facts are that , the brains gender is so basic to our identity, most people mistakenly assume our sense of being male or female is defined with absolute certainty by our anatomical sex. It seems contrary to popular belief, one's sense of gender and one's anatomical sex are two distinct elements: each
developing at different times in different parts of the body.  It seems fall more into the category of 'Nature' rather than 'Nurture' therefor more a biological factor rather than a product of environment.  There seems to be no real know medical or psychological cure for Crossdressing and is not considered by the American Medical Association or the American Psychiatric Association a significant life problem.  But from what I can gather it can be at times problematic in the persons life, especially for males, as present day society has accepted a somewhat 'Double Standard', in that a women can dress in  what was traditionally accepted as men's clothing and be accepted as
normal but the reverse is not true for men.   Therefor it is much easier for the female crossdresser to disguise her desires to dress as a man and the revers is not true for the male.  

The history of Crossdressing  or Transgenderists is significant and well documented, it extends back as far as recorded history of Roman and Greek times, some of the more notable occurrences were Joan of Arc (1412-1431) http://www.netsrq.com/~dbois/joanarc.htmland and Chevalier D'Eon (1728-1810) http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Parade/3652/history1.htm  It has also be very well documented in all societies and cultures through out the world, the  Native American Indian culture being among them.  The American Indian Tribes held
these transgendered people in high regard and made them 'Hi Priests' and refereed to them as 'Two Spirited'.

Now please understand, I am in no way saying that your children are Transgendered,  just pointing out that it could be a possibility and if so, you might want to consider gathering some information on this subject as I have, to better understand how to handle this with my son.  Also, my understanding that being transgendered or a crossdresser does not in any way say that the person is gay (homosexual), and from what I read most all male and female crossdressers are completely heterosexual. By the way as a warning, becareful what you read, there seems to be a
Whole Industry of Sex Trash that has sprung up on the Internet, that is directed at exploiting this issue, please for your child sake understand that this is in no way truthfully related to the real issues if being transgendered.
Avatar universal
thank-you for your imput.just to let you know i have gone out and purchased a variety of costumes [ more male related] to keep his mind off the girly thing. it has worked a little ,instead of playing girly all night he at least uses the costumes for an hour or so. i've also made an appointment with a child psycholigist just to see what she says,i'll let you know. and yes we are very aware of the info you gave us becca2,we also have 2 very good gay friends whom our son has never been around[they live out of state] .
Avatar universal
I am very pro-gay. I empathize greatly. My 4 year old daughter has been saying for a week or so she's a boy she has a winkie and has even used toys as a joke to put down there saying I'm a boy but I knowmy child it's a phase and normal. Even if she did grow up and say I wanna be a boy or I'm gay I wouldn't care. She's my daughter and I would love her just the same.
Avatar universal
10323817 tn?1409295535
A related discussion, My daughter is insisting she a boy .. almost 3 was started.
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