Father Refuses to Allow 6-Year-Old Son to Dress Like a Girl â€“ Now He's Been Charged with 'Child Abuse'
- As Executive Directorof the American College
of Pediatricians and joins usnow to discuss James' story.
Dr. Ceretella, first, yourobservations about James
and his wanting to be Luna with his mother
and James with his dad.
Is this gender dysphoriaand can a six-year-old
struggle with this?
- A six-year-old child cancertainly have gender dysphoria.
But James' case does notreally fit that definition.
A young child who has gender dysphoria
persistently and consistently will insist
they are not their biological sex.
But in this case, Jamesis quite happy being a boy
with a father and seems to behave
and act like a girl with his mother.
So, there's some red flags there.
- How does this differfrom children this age
simply being curious about gender?
- There's some overlap.
But generally, a childwith true gender dysphoria
is so upset, so emotionally upset
by their biological sex thatthey will reach the point
where they insist it's not who they are.
Whereas a child who's just experimenting,
they may try out differentsex stereotyped playing
or cross-dressing, things like this.
But it's not a persistentor consistent habit.
- What do you think will be the best thing
for James in this situation?
- The ideal approach hereshould be with a therapist
who will objectively look at James
and the very difficultsituation they're in.
This is a divorce situation.
And basically, assesswhat's different about
when James is with Mom andwhen James is with Dad.
There are cases now, I don't obviously,
I don't know these parents personally but,
there is definitely thecase in which some mothers
in particular canexperience gender mourning.
Moms who so desperately wanted a girl,
but never gave birth to a daughter
can enter a deep depressionand that depression
is only lifted when one of their sons
acts in a feminine wayor allows the mom to
dress them as a girl.
So there are cases likethis in the literature.
So basically, a therapist who is objective
does not have a stake in the case,
needs to look at otherextenuating circumstances,
- What are your thoughtson allowing children
to choose their gender?
- It's outrageous.
Look, our sex is determined at conception
by our genetics, by our DNA.
When children are born, we as physicians
recognize the sex that theyare by their physical bodies
and that's what childrenneed to be taught.
You know, some people,
most of us use sex andgender interchangeably.
Unfortunately, we're now in a culture that
is heavily dominated bytransgender activists
who are teaching childrenas young as preschool
that sex and gender aretwo different things
and that they can be atodds with one another.
So, as parents and honest physicians,
we have to teach our kids the truth.
People have a biologicalsex determined at conception
and that never changes.
It's with you for your whole life.
- Dr. Michelle Cretella with the
American College of Pediatricians,
thank you so much for your insight.
- Thank you for having me.