Gender and Education
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From Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Identity Creativity: True Gender Self Child Therapy

From Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Identity Creativity: True Gender Self Child Therapy | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
(2012). From Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Identity Creativity: True Gender Self Child Therapy. Journal of Homosexuality: Vol. 59, The Treatment of Gender Dysphoric/Gender Variant (GD/GV) Children and Adolescents, pp.
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Ehrensaft, child clinician, discusses her own self-reports on gender identity disorder and gender identity creativity through her true gender self-therapy (TGST) sessions with gender nonconforming and transgender children. Gender identity creativity is the individual unique forming of a gender self that integrates body, brain, mind, and psyche to establish his or her authentic gender identity and expression. Ehrensaft’s findings through TGST and the self-reports of her clients indicate that the children who report that they are allowed to express their gender as they feel it rather than as others dictate it are enlivened and engaged, while prohibiting true gender expression shows symptoms of anxiety, stress, anger, and depression. Children who experience extreme discrepancy between the genders they are born as and the gender they know themselves to be makes it difficult for them to live an authentic gender life in which they can feel comfortable projecting their true gender identity to their friends, family, and the world. It is particularly hard when the child is living in a world of friends and family who are not welcoming of his or her discrepancy. This goes along with education as well, because if these children do not feel accepted at school and feel like the environment is misunderstanding and uneasy they will feel like an outsider and bad about themselves. 

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Transgender / FTM

Transgender / FTM | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
The Gender Spectrum | Teaching Tolerance- Teachers need to be responsible for creating a safe environment by not putting up with teasing or rude comments. Even if it's not directed at someone. Just the phrase "that's so gay!
Camille Cocca's insight:

The article that is connected to this pin discusses gender at length through one child, Alex (this name was used as a pseudonym to protect the child’s privacy). The article discusses how quick we are to judge gender and how our judgments have become so innate that we assume gender by looking at someone in a spilt second. The reality is that our judgments are not keeping up with the true complexity of gender. We still think gender appears to be so simple, but it is not. This article discusses the same concept mentioned in previous articles in that it is trying to shed light on the true meaning of gender. Just as the gender identity project video discusses that our society still uses the traditional gender model, this article also points out that we cannot change the people, so we must change this model to fit real people. It discusses how for the lucky majority in the world their gender identity matches their birth sex, and that population is referred to as cisgender. In other cases, children’s gender identity differs from their biology and these children can sense this at young ages. At the young age of three, Alex refused to be called boy or girl and he wanted to chuck gender pronouns altogether. His preferred gender descriptor is gender fluid. Gender-diverse children like Alex face all kinds of gender expectations in school, such as bathrooms and dress codes. The article discusses the fact that gender expression is often “curtailed by our society’s gender norms,” and this can have a harsh affect on gender-diverse children who are just trying to find themselves and express their true identities. Just as the graphs on the pin depicted, gender-diverse children compared to the general population face drastically increased rates of bullying, assault, depression, school dropout, drug abuse, self-harm, and suicide. As the figures state, 78% of students K-12 who express transgender identity or gender nonconformity are harassed, 35% are physically assaulted, 12% are sexually assaulted, and 6% are expelled.

            Reading the rates of these horrendous occurrences is heartbreaking and honestly sickening.  Facts and figures such as these are exactly why I want to be better informed about gender identification and have a future classroom that is open to all gender identifications. It is why I am so passionate about this topic.  Children should not be bullied over expressing who they are on the inside. If we didn’t have such strict gender stereotypes in society and were not socialized and raised to think in this manner we would not see these numbers. Children are being bullied over not acting the way that they “should” based off of their appearance. It is not about appearance, it is about the individual and getting to know that individual for who they are not for who they appear to be. There is nothing wrong with expressing yourself and all children should feel accepted, especially in a school environment. These statistics show just how important it is for the topic of gender identification to be taught and discussed in classrooms, starting at an elementary level when it matters the most. In elementary school, children are growing and trying to find themselves. While they are trying to figure out who they are, it does not help if others are keeping them from finding themselves by bullying them and harassing them. This is a crucial topic that needs to be talked about so that change for the better can be seen. 

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Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
"I got 99 problems and society's attitude towards things such as sexual orientation and gender identity is, like, 98 of them." #feminism
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Transgender Basics - Gender Identity Project (GIP) - YouTube

DVDs of this video are now available at http://www.genderidentityproject.org . Transgender Basics is a 20 minute educational film on the concepts of gender a...
Camille Cocca's insight:

 The purpose of this twenty-minute informational video was to discuss the new discoveries about gender and gender identification that need to be understood worldwide. The video points out that our society likes to make everything seem simple like gender, but gender is not simple, it is complex. Our society still follows the traditional gender model that is based on physical traits one has at birth. If a child is born as a male, according to the traditional gender model that child should grow up to become stereotypically masculine, identify as a man, and be attracted to women (and vice versa for those born as a female). The video points out that most people are not this clear cut and are a mixture of the genders. The traditional gender model needs to be replaced with the authentic gender model that shows gender complexity by including four categories that play into gender identification: sex, gender role, gender identity, and sexual orientation. This relates to that genderbread model because both these models are the same. They both include the same four categories and show that gender is a spectrum and has wide ranges even within the categories. As the video states, gender is unique for everyone and no two people are exactly alike when it comes to their gender identification. Gender is not between the legs, but between the ears as stated in the video. This means that gender does not rely on physical traits, but lies within the mind of an individual. It is not how you are born, but how you feel and what you want the world to see you as.      

The video included interviews of three individuals: one who was a transgendered man, one who was a transgendered woman, and one who was genderqueer (does not identify as either gender). This was beneficial to the movie to talk to real people who are battling this whole concept of gender identification and just trying to be who they know they are on the inside. They discussed how much harassment they have been through and how many obstacles they have faced just trying to be their true selves in public. They discussed how hard it is to explain their gender identification to individuals who just cannot understand. For example, they discussed how people just think that transgendered people are just gay and do not need to transition. The individual who does not identify with either gender discussed how she slightly identifies more with males, but she feels comfortable in her female body, and people cannot understand that about her. They all discussed difficulties growing up and feeling like they had to act like the sex they were born as, but they knew it did not feel right and they didn’t know what to do. The transgendered woman stated that she “just wants to be treated like a human being.” Overall, the video wants to push this understanding of gender identification and discusses the fact that we cannot assume what gender someone identifies with just from their looks so we must ask them.

            This video was very insightful, and although I felt like I was starting to better understand gender identification, I still learned more about it throughout this video. The video was very eye opening and I appreciated the interviews from real individuals struggling with their gender identification in the world. Hearing about their difficulties growing up and even being bullied when they were younger in school for being “different” is exactly why I have a need to learn more about gender identification because I want to be prepared for my future teaching career. I want to be informed and I want to offer an open and safe environment for my students to feel free and comfortable to be whoever they want to be. In my future classroom I will not assume any of my students gender identifications, I will just ask them what pronouns they would like me to use when talking to them. This topic is extremely important to me because it causes a lot of heartache and harassment for people who are just misunderstood and just want to be treated equally. 

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SAFE SCHOOLS PROJECT LGBT - YouTube

Presented by Center for the Study of Quality and Human Rights - Eastern Michigan University - its students, faculty and staff.
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Sweden's 'confusing' gender-neutral preschool

Sweden's 'confusing' gender-neutral preschool | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
There are no boys and girls at a new school in Stockholm, just "friends." Is this the cutting edge of gender equality, or just "silly"?
Camille Cocca's insight:

This article discussed the backlash the gender-neutral preschool, Egalia, in Sweden received from some individuals. The article gives background on the preschool, like the previous scoop does. Also, it points out that the school actually has a waiting list for children to get in because of its popularity and rarity, and it states that only one couple has pulled their child out of the school. The article then discusses those who oppose this school and feel that this form of teaching and pedagogy is “confusing” for the children. The opposing side of this form of gender-neutral schooling argues that Egalia is just “hiding” gender norms within its walls, but the truth is outside of the walls and gender norms do exist in the world. They believe gender norms are still going to have to be dealt with. The opposing view is that different gender roles are not problematic as long as they are equally valued. Some believe that Egalia may be “confusing gender neutrality with gender equality” and that we should celebrate the differences between genders, not push for a “homogenized society.” It is believed that eliminating gender-specific pronouns altogether as Egalia does is both “confusing and silly.”

            After reading the opposing view of Egalia and first believing that the use of gender-neutral schooling would be beneficial to the students, I still believe this. I thought that after reading the opposing view I would rethink my opinion on the matter, but it only confirmed my opinion. I can see what they are saying and where they are coming from, but I just do not agree. Specifically, I do not agree with the quote about celebrating gender differences. Those said differences are what make some children feel uncomfortable in their own skin and in their own school. The gender differences we see today were socialized and structured over time and they now force individuals into boxes of set norms that not all people of each gender can fit in, nor want to fit in. What if gender had never been socialized and we did not even have gender stereotypes? This would not be a problem. For the time being, these gender stereotypes are now causing problems for many people worldwide. Now that we starting to see and bring to the world’s attention that gender is not binary, but a spectrum, our gender norms and roles are not adding up to this new realization. We should celebrate the beauty of differences of the individual, not of gender. Egalia is not trying to rid the world of gender, just giving children more choices and an environment in which they can truly find themselves and grow without fear of being judged or bullied for being “different.” 

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Swedish School De-emphasizes Gender Lines

Swedish School De-emphasizes Gender Lines | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
The Nicolaigarden school in Stockholm tries to free girls and boys from traditional gender roles, starting with replacing “him” or “her” with “friend.”
Camille Cocca's insight:

The insightful article discusses the new, breakthrough gender-neutral preschool, Egalia, in Stockholm, Sweden. The preschool uses gender-neutral schooling in that it deemphasizes gender lines and uses gender-neutral pronouns like “friends” or “hen” over “him” or “her.” The pronoun “hen” is a genderless pronoun that has been added to some dictionaries. The gender-free pedagogy is used at Egalia so that by eliminating references to gender, the students won'tbe hindered by the stereotyping of gender roles. Toys and books are not referred to as only for boys or girls, like dolls and trucks. The children are given the option as to what they want to choose without the hindrance of gender stereotypes swaying their decisions. The  library includes books that have single parents, adopted children, and same-sex couples for more diversity and to allow all children to relate to the books no matter what their backgrounds are. Toys such as a basketball and a Barbie are placed side by side so that the children have a choice rather than just handing a boy the basketball and a girl the Barbie. The school wants the children to have wider choices and to not be restricted by gender stereotypes. The teachers are taught to give just as much attention to the boys as they would to the girls when they hurt themselves. The deputy mayor responsible of schools in Stockholm states, “The important thing is that children, regardless of their sex, have the same opportunities.”

            The concept of gender-neutral schooling really interests me and I have wanted to learn more about it. Hopefully one day I will be able to observe, or even work, in a gender-neutral school in the future. I find this preschool in Sweden to be very progressive in its ways and I am very interested in learning how it affects the children throughout their lives as they grow up. I would hope that this type is schooling shows to be extremely beneficial and to start stripping away at the pesky gender stereotypes and gender roles we have built up over time in society. More and more children are figuring out at a younger age that they do not identify with the sex they were born as and they become confused and upset. When gender stereotypes are so strict and they feel like they have to abide by the harsh labels of “boy” or “girl” it becomes disheartening and uncomfortable for children who just want to be whom they are. The concept of gender-neutral schooling goes along with the genderbread person model mentioned earlier in that this preschool is allowing children to find out wherever they may lie on the spectrum at their own pace and on their own, free of gender stereotypes.  The preschool allows for freedom of choice and allows for the spectrum of gender to be present naturally. 

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Critical Literacy Book Reviews: 10000 dresses by Marcus Ewert and Rex Ray - YouTube

Alexis Birner (M.Ed) reviews 10000 dresses written by Marcus Ewert and illustrated by Rex Ray. Published by Seven Stories Press (2008) My Channel: https://ww...
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10,000 Dresses is a book about a young boy, Bailey, who dreams about magical dresses, and each morning he wants to tell his family about the dreams, but no one wants to hear about the beautiful dreams. His parents just tell him he is a boy and shouldn’t be thinking about dresses at all. Bailey then meets Laurel, an older girl who is touched and inspired by Bailey’s imagination and courage. The two of two friends begin making dresses together, and Bailey’s dreams come true. This book is a moving and inspirational story about gender identification and the difficulties young children face with it. It shows the importance of awareness, acceptance, and being yourself.  

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Children's books

Children's books | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
All I Want To Be Is Me
Camille Cocca's insight:

All I Want To Be Is Me is a children’s picture book that discusses the diverse ways children experience and express their gender. Each young characters recognizes those who do not fit into the strict gender stereotypes and who just want to be themselves. This book celebrates children being who they are and sheds a positive light on children who all lie within various areas of the gender spectrum. This book allows children to learn about gender diversity and embrace differences. It also authentically portrays the wide spectrum of gender, reflecting the genderbread person model, and the importance of being you without hindrance of labels and stereotypes in life. One of the last pages of the book has a blank page that asks the reader to “draw a picture of yourself-just being you and doing what you love.” This page of the book adds interaction and a hands-on activity for the children to better understand the purpose and the topic of the book.

            All I Want To Be Is Me is a beautifully illustrated powerful children’s book that I have read and was moved by. This will be in my future classroom library for my children and I will most likely try to incorporate a lesson plan to go along with this book so that I can teach the children about gender identification to raise awareness in my classroom. I would hope by doing so that it would spread throughout the school so that the school as a whole would be an accepting and safe environment for all children to freely be who they are. This book should be a part of any classroom library because it is important for all children to be able to find themselves in literature so that the books can help them figure out what is going on in their lives and find themselves in the books. 

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rainbows have nothing to hide

rainbows have nothing to hide | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
Gender: a visual guide. When most people think of the gender spectrum, they think in terms of blue and pink, and maybe some purpley stuff. ...
Camille Cocca's insight:

This pin from Pinterest ties together the whole idea of gender in terms of the common misconception of gender and what gender truly is. The misconception is shown at the top of the visual and shows gender being two sided and linear with some fuzziness/”gray area” in between the two sides. Below is gender in actuality in that it is endless in its differences and all the possibilities interconnect. The spectrum is an actual spectrum (with lots of in betweens, either ors, and neithers) or, not a straight, definite line. An individual can identify anywhere within the spectrum of gender.

            The topics of gender, gender identity, and gender spectrum are new to me. Honestly, if it were not for my sister and for Jazz, our transgendered guess speaker in class, I would not have heard about this concept. I would still be oblivious to the truths of gender, and I would still think of gender as meaning boy or girl. I was aware of transgender, gay, lesbian, and bisexual, but I was not aware that identity goes even deeper. I did not know that someone could identify anywhere from a mixture of both male and female to identifying with no gender. Once I was made aware of this, I could look at gender and understand gender in a whole new light. I am very grateful that this has been brought to my attention because I will need this revelation in my future as a teacher. I will need to be aware of these differences so that I can be open and supporting of all of my unique students in my future. The knowledge of the differences within the spectrum of gender is something that needs to be discussed and understood because everyone should feel comfortable to be who they truly are, no matter where they lie on the gender spectrum. We must embrace and admire the beauty of differences. 

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The Representation Project | Mission & History

The Representation Project | Mission & History | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
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The mission statement for this project is provided as follows on the website, “the Representation Project is a movement that uses film and media content to expose injustices created by gender stereotypes and to shift people’s consciousness towards change. Interactive campaigns, strategic partnerships and education initiatives inspire individuals and communities to challenge the status quo and ultimately transform culture so everyone, regardless of gender, race, class, age, or circumstance can fulfill their potential.” I have not heard about this project, but if it begins to spread through schools I believe it would be very beneficial and inspirational. It would be a good step towards understanding, awareness, and acceptance of different gender identification.

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Documentary to show LGBT community's progress in schools

Documentary to show LGBT community's progress in schools | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
Local filmmakers are creating a documentary about how the climate for LGBT students and educators at South Florida schools has evolved since the late 1970s. "Schools, of course, just like the...
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'Gender-neutral' pre-school accused of mind control

'Gender-neutral' pre-school accused of mind control | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
At the Egalia pre-school, staff avoid using words such as "him" or "her" and address the 33 youngsters as "friends" rather than girls and boys.
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The Different Dragon: A Magical Book for All Families

The Different Dragon: A Magical Book for All Families | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
(Originally published in Bay Windows, February 22, 2007.) One of the ways I judge a children’s book is by how much it captures my son’s imagination. After we read The Different Dragon, he made me r...
Camille Cocca's insight:

The Different Dragon is a children’s picture book about a young boy Noah who is weaves together a bedtime tale about magic and dragons with one of his mothers. They create a story about a dragon who does not want to be fierce anymore. The story starts off with the meanest dragon in all the land barreling through Dragon Cove breathing fire and being ferocious. Then Noah looks up to find the dragon crying, and he asks the dragon what is the matter. The dragon replies, “It’s just no use… I just can’t be fierce anymore… It is a lot of pressure to be fierce all the time… And nobody ever wants to be funny or sad or just regular. There’s only one way for a dragon to be ad that’s that.” Noah replies by saying that there are lots of different ways to be a dragon, and being fierce isn’t the only way the dragon has to be. Noah tells the dragon that he can be however he wants to be.

            Although Noah has two moms, this whole book does not revolve around this concept. It is more about gender identification and feeling comfortable being yourself. As the blog that is linked to this pin discusses, maybe the point was that the gay parents were not the main topic of the book. The blog mentions that the author has stated that she was “tired of reading GLBT books that ‘explained’ or ‘defended’ our type of family. Those books have served an important purpose, but I wanted to read a book to my kids that is FUN and MAGICAL, a great story, with beautiful illustrations—and the fact that the protagonist has two moms is incidental to the tale.” The author, Jennifer Bryan, wanted to show that gay parents can be included in a story and be shown as just your typical couple raising their own child and not put so much emphasis on the mothers because they are like any other parents out there.

            After reading this book I knew I would definitely be adding it to my future classroom library because of its great message it sends to children. It shows children that there is no one way of being you that you have to abide by, and being different is okay. Being different is a part of being unique and an individual. It should be embraced and celebrated, not shamed and ignored. This story was heartwarming and moving, and it shows that children can understand the concept of gender identification when it is presented in a way that shows that people just want to be who they are. Children can understand that idea, and discussion of this book and of the “different dragon” can lead to talking about differences in gender identification. Lesson plans could easily draw from this book to discuss gender identification in the classroom in an appropriate manner. Again, kids will be able to relate to this book and find themselves, just as the book All I Want To Be Is Me points out. 

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The Genderbread Person v2.0

The Genderbread Person v2.0 | Gender and Education | Scoop.it
Heads up! I wrote a book all about gender that builds on the concepts I introduced with this Genderbread Person. If you appreciate this, you’ll love this book. Hundreds of comments,... Heads up!
Camille Cocca's insight:

 The recently revised Genderbread Person model and the accompanying article discuss the newly discovered differences in gender we now see in society. The article discusses how this model needs to be the new accepted model of gender that everyone understands. We cannot just classify someone as boy or girl, man or woman. Gender is not as clear-cut; it is not binary. Gender is a spectrum. You cannot assume gender, especially just by physical appearances or biological makeup. Just as the article states, “Gender…is not either/or. In many cases it is both/and. A bit of this, a dash of that.” The model helps people to understand this new realization about gender and gender identification. The model is divided into four categories that make up one’s gender identification: gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and attracted to. Within each category, there are five subcategories to determine where one would be on the scale. The five subcategories are a part of infinite possibilities, because as stated before gender is a spectrum with no strict divisions between categories. For example, gender identity consists of “woman,” “man,” “two-spirit,” “genderqueer,” and “genderless” as its five (of infinite) possible labels. “Two-spirit” identification pertains to someone who identifies with both genders, while “genderless” pertains to someone who does not identify with either gender.

This model goes along with the topic of gender equality in education in that it highlights all the identifications one could go by for gender and how we must be knowledgeable the variance in gender identifications. Classroom environments must include and accept each one of these identifications and the classroom must have equal treatment and acceptance of the different identifications in this regard. As teachers, we cannot assume a student will identify with pronouns of the gender they appear to be on the outside. One student who biologically is female may identify as a male and want the pronoun "he" and "him" to be used when talking to her. We must be understand and be knowledgeable about this topic as teachers to better prepare ourselves for any situations we come across in our classrooms. We want all of our students to feel included, comfortable, and understood within our classroom. I find the topic of gender identification to be very interesting and extremely important to learn about and enforce in education. In my future classroom, I will be more aware of gender differences and can allow for the students in my classroom to learn in a safe and welcoming environment where they can feel comfortable to e exactly who they are as a person. Students should feel safe in school to be their true selves and a classroom needs to be more understanding in terms of gender identification so that they feel like they can grow and feel comfortable finding themselves within the classroom. When choice and free exercise of gender identification is restricted from children in the classroom and the school, students who do not identify with the gender they were born as will only feel confused and like they do not fit in, but all children need to be treated equally.

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