Here’s a little lesson on the difference between sex and gender. “Sex” refers to our physical being – male or female. “Gender” refers to the social roles related to our sex – boy or girl; man or woman. We don’t have man or woman fish, for example, because they don’t have social roles.
According to Dr. Lynn Sorsoli, from the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality in San Francisco, kids’ relationship with their gender can be a very fluid thing.
Dr. Sorsoli says “Some children naturally question their gender identity because they think so concretely about gender rules, e.g., ‘Boys like to play with trucks. If I like to play with trucks, I must be a boy’ or ‘I want to be a boy SO I will be allowed to play with trucks.’ For some children, a desire to be the opposite sex is transitory, for others it is a lifelong journey, with sometimes agonizing feelings of being born in the wrong kind of body.”
If your boy wants a doll or your girl insists she is now a boy, relax. Chances are this will pass and the less you react to their choices and pronouncements, the better everyone will fare.