Children and Sex-Reassignment: Feminist Concerns

Originally posted at Boner Killer

When the question of children and adolescents receiving hormones and surgical procedures to make a body have “feminine” or “masculine” secondary sex characteristics, Styrker responded with a bit of annoyance and then began to give an account of her childhood. Stryker then stated that “kids have a pretty good idea of who they are.”

This statement is what troubled me the most.

As a recovering psychology student, I feel confident in debating issues surrounding the human brain and its complex development. My knowledge on child development, which I am quite confident in, has led me to believe that Stryker’s reference to a stabilized self-awareness and self-identity in childhood to be very problematic.

The human brain develops in a generally predictable manner throughout the lifespan, making the cognitive abilities of a five year old vastly different than the level of cognition experienced by a 15 year old. A 15 year olds’ sense of self and cognitive abilities (heavily impacted by the relation to their upbringing, social group and culture) would be vastly different from the cognitive abilities of someone in their early to mid-twenties.* Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but this is relevant to the majority of the population.

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