When cultural change gets a prescription

Radio 4 had a short interview this morning with Tavistock clinic and two clients. What struck me was the little boy , sounding about six stating one of his reasons being, he would be liked more as a girl. An older child, claimed the identity in a way that made me think Gender identity confusion is as much about the difficulty of being one sex rather than seeking out another. Again, it seems gender is polarised and ways of being boys or girls so socially prescribed as to make it uncomfortable for many. I wonder did the sexual revolution, the militant feminist, the long haired in tune with nature male, did it really happen or did I just dream it. Since when did preferences for dressing in boys clothes need a diagnosis and become pathologised by a label. Bernadette Wren did make the point that only a smal percent who prefer to be seen as the other sex medically transition. Maybe what is really happening is a cultural revolution against modern gender stereotypes, we just hasn’t developed the language or presented the arguments well enough to stop young people being ensnared in the medical and cosmetic industry. Perhaps all transgender means for many is’ I want a break from the social expectation of being a boy/girl, something I don ‘t think I am very good at’. An extension of the magical thinking, ‘if only….’ Society is ill and the symptoms are in the children around us. But I do not think the medical or cosmetic industry is the solution.

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