How to Teach Kids About Sex and Gender

There has been a great deal of controversy in recent months around what exactly our schools should or shouldn’t be allowed to teach, in relation to topics of sex, gender, and identity. And of course one of the central fault lines for this particular culture war runs directly through the state of Florida, where a recent “parents rights” bill was passed by Governor DeSantis — which the left characterizes as a “don’t say gay” bill that is in effect limiting speech in the classroom.

This particular battle has become incredibly heated, as the left accuses advocates of the bill as being homophobic, transphobic, sexist, etc. Meanwhile, the right is labeling the bill’s critics as being “groomers”, or even outright pedophiles.

Here is what the relevant part of the bill says:

“Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards."

So what exactly are “developmentally appropriate, age-appropriate” ways to teach kids about sex, gender, and identity — not only for kids in kindergarten through third grade, but throughout the rest of childhood and adolescence? Which aspects are more appropriate to teach at home, and which are appropriate to teach at school? Watch as Dr. Keith and Corey share their thoughts!

Funny thing happened. I hit fast forward and it landed exactly on Dr Keith’s favorite phrase “extractive capitalists”. No Identity Marxism round these parts. Lol.

I’m not sure why you are always so quick to label people “Marxists”. As we’ve discussed several times before, “extractive capitalism” doesn’t mean “all capitalism is extractive”. It’s not a Marxist criticism of capitalism itself, but a healthy criticism of particularly malignant forms of capitalism.

Makes sense to me. If we think a kid is too young to choose for herself, why on earth would we think she is old enough to bear and raise a child?

Interesting take. Kind of a Wards of the State Lite approach.
In what other areas should the Government disintermediate children from their families?
Medical, Gender/Sex Stuff… What else do parents have no business being involved with in their children’s lives?

Who says parents “have no business being involved in their children’s lives”? Seems a tad hyperbolic to me, as does your “wards of the state” comment.

I’m just making a point about moral consistency. If we believe kids are too young to make their own medical decisions when necessary, why wouldn’t they also be too young to bring a pregnancy to term and raise a child? Why would protecting the fetus be more important than protecting the child?

I take it you think adolescents should be forced to bear and raise children?

Let’s take a different angle — what if a parent refused to allow their child to receive a life-saving medical procedure? Should the child have any choice whatsoever in that situation? Would that make them “wards of the state” if we agreed that, yes, children should have some degree of bodily autonomy, at least when it comes to their health and safety?

Corey, youre starting to thrash in the weeds. Seems kind of like a Lite version of Ward of the State to me to start carving off children from parents. Heck, I’m a big adherent to the old saying, “I’m in therapy because I was raised in a family.” The family maybe be Archaic or Red or dysfunctional Orange, but it’s been the best we’ve come up with so far (that’s been shown to work fairly well).
I’m just looking at what areas you think this is a good thing.
Medical, Psychological, (abortion is medically invasive and can be psychologically stressful) and Gender/Sex Ed are in your list so far. How about Gender Reassignment without parental consent?
What other topics do you propose legally to disintermediate parents from children?

If you say so buddy :slight_smile: You’re the one putting words in my mouth.

My question was simple: if a child is too young to make this kind of medical decision, why aren’t they also too young to bear and raise a child?

Medical, Psychological, (abortion is medically invasive and can be psychologically stressful) and Gender/Sex Ed are in your list so far.

I see you trying to straw man me using all-or-nothing caricatures of my views so you can put me into a particular category. Have fun with that.

Education in general is already largely decoupled from parent’s beliefs. As it should be, within reason, since the goal should always be for our kids to turn out smarter than we are. Which is why schools teach things like the theory of evolution in biology class, despite many parents wanting schools to teach creationism instead. And since I include sex and gender as “objective realities” that all human beings need to learn, I think it should be included in any comprehensive approach to education. I don’t believe any facet of healthy human behavior — or any natural line of human intelligence — should be excluded, made taboo, or pushed into shadow, including sex or the existence of gay people.

Personally, I think being both anti-abortion AND anti-sex education is not only an untenable and self-defeating position, but also immoral, at least according to my own compass.

In your view, should a 3 year old and a 16 year old be afforded the same degree of autonomy? Should a person’s autonomy come online all at once on their 18th birthday, or should it come online incrementally as they mature?

Do you believe that a 12 year old girl should ever be forced to bear and raise a child?

How about this — if a 16 year old girl gets pregnant and wants to keep the child, but her Marxist collectivist parents want her to abort it, should the parent be allowed to force her to have the abortion? Or do “parent’s rights” only work in one direction?

So all the defensive “you’re strawmanning me” aside, this is where the discussion lies - where do YOU want to take these boundaries?

YES, absolutely agree that parents give schools limited control over their children while they are in school. I don’t think it a forgone conclusion that the State has unlimited control over parents’ children - yet. That’s the Leftist Vision, but it’s simply not the case right now. And it seems to be a hot button topic for, as Dr. Keith would say, all those Amber knuckledraggers being manipulated by the Orange Oligarchy. Which coincidentally just happens to be an impediment to the Teal Enfoldment.

I get that you want it mandated that ALL children be taught LGBTQIA+ Gender/Sexuality concepts from 4 to 8 years old. Coincidentally taught by those most invested in LGBTQIA++ ideology and causes. Got it.

We now see Illinois eliminate not only Parental Consent but Parental Inform for a medically and psychologically invasive procedure. You’re all for that. Got it.

I’m trying to find out if YOU (or perhaps Integral-ism?) have any boundaries whatsoever on government disintermediation of the Parent/Child relationship. Instead of arguing “common sense” or “give us power, then the Experts will figure out what’s best”, let’s tease out thinking on if there should be any boundaries - our perhaps not.

I like how you continue to try to put me in one of your little boxes, while also dodging every one of my questions to you. You’re not trying to have a discussion, you’re certainly not trying to understand my view, you are simply trying to interrogate and label my views.

Yes, I think it’s okay for kids 4-8 to know that gay people exist, and their existence does not need to be a taboo. That’s about the extent of it.

Yes, I think it’s okay for an adolescent to have an abortion, and I do not subscribe to the self-contradictory moral reasoning that “a kid is too young to choose an abortion but old enough to have children”. In the face of such obvious absurdity, I default to “maximum liberty”. No one under 18 should be forced to have a child. And no one should be forced to have an abortion by their parents if they don’t want one.

Also when did I say anything about LGBT “ideology”? Or do you believe I’m saying that physics should be taught to kids by teachers who submit to the “physics ideology”? Interestingly, it is the same thing that many parents say about teaching evolution in biology class — “they are teaching their evolution ideology”. Should evolution be phased out of education, you reckon?

Also, if you were a member and watched the actual content piece, you’d see me arguing for some degree of “parents’ rights” in our education system, with limits around what I think should and shouldn’t be represented in the classroom at different stages. The focus of the discussion was around what is “developmentally appropriate” at these stages, and tries to move beyond the all-or-nothing left-vs.-right oversimplification of the issues.

I really don’t fit very neatly into your little boxes :wink:

This, by the way, is one of the reasons I asked about possibly making this a members-only space. It would be nice if the comments made on a given piece of media were being made by people who actually watched the content, because that would prevent the sort of low-resolution caricatures of worldviews that I see being made in this thread. But I am still weighing the pros and cons of that decision. I suppose it would be nice if certain threads were members-only, and others open to non-members, but I do not think there is a way to implement that on this platform.

Kind of getting ahead of myself, was going to include this in a continuing piece of the saga I’ve been writing about the members-only question, but I wondered if there was any way to add a couple of new Categories? Like a “New Members” category, where questions, concerns, processing, etc., things that would likely be pertinent to them could be discussed. Along with that, a “Collaborative Exchange” kind of Category to highlight and meet that specific need/desire.

I’ve thought about similar solutions. The problem I think, is that most people are probably not looking to see what “category” a given thread is in, so even if we created a set of interior-enforced rules of discourse (e.g. “please only comment on media pieces if you’ve actually watched those media pieces”) it wouldn’t be too effective for too long. Unless I manually add these sorts of suggestions to the threads themselves, which would be one possible way to adapt here.

And for the record, I feel personally challenged by this sort of decision. By default, I want to keep things as open as possible, with as few “punitive” rules as possible. I am a bit Green when it comes to community management (which, coincidentally, also requires the least amount of active moderation). But I have also been confronted with the limitations of that approach, which is causing me to rethink my approach to community management altogether. Perhaps creating a “community of the adequate” really does need to be “an elitism, to which everyone is invited” — but that “invitation” refers to specific paths into the community, rather than just opening it up and allowing the discourse of a member-supported community (members are paying the bills for platforms like this) to become dominated by non-members. When it comes to Integral Life, my priorities are first to our members, and then to our possible/prospective future members, and then to everyone else.

But there would also be a net loss for that approach as well, as some of my better writing and reflections over the last couple years have emerged from discussions with non-members, even ones who are occasionally hostile to me personally, and to the views I try to express. It’s nice to be challenged, and to be forced to re-think my own underlying assumptions. But it also makes it very difficult for any conversation to move forward, if we are constantly bringing the discussion back to “first principles”.

Maybe there is yet another solution here, which I have not thought of, and which doesn’t require so much active moderation (which can be a big investment of time and resources). I personally wish there was a way to systematize a genuine “integral meritocracy” in communities like this — like, members of the “community of the adequate” are given particular badges (maybe granted by completing a particular course, or perhaps nominated by other decorated members of the community?) and those badges then give comments more or less weight over others. Or perhaps limiting the number of non-member comments that can be made per day, while giving supporting members the privilege to post as much as they would like. But I don’t believe this platform will support those solutions, and this is probably the best/most robust forum platform out there.

So I continue to try to find the best possible solutions, that can generate the greatest amount of integral truth, goodness, and beauty, within the technological limits of the community software itself, and without requiring a full-time job to moderate the community, or ten full-time jobs to invent a new community platform altogether :slight_smile:

In response to this topic about kids… (and I have not watched the podcast)

I once did an internship with a large juvenile court system, becoming familiar with family law, laws regarding juvenile justice, juvenile emancipation laws, etc. I noticed that there was definite bias in favor of parents/adults, even in cases of abuse and neglect, when it came to “rights” and remarked on this to a lawyer who was a juvenile court judge within that system. He replied that yes, there was bias in the legal system favoring the rights of adults/parents, based largely on the fact that the majority of people spend more time in life as an adult than as a child.

It seems that what has been happening over the past couple of decades at least is toward lessening that bias. We are increasingly aware that being an adult/parent, whether biological, foster, or adoptive, does not necessarily guarantee one’s “fitness” for the role, does not guarantee that the best interests of children/juveniles are always best served by every parent, all parents, and are responding realistically both by increasing the rights of juveniles in some areas, and by extending to schools some kinds of child education that decades ago and longer may have been most often the province of parents.

Corey, this is absurd. Of course I want to understand your views.
You do a fair both sider on most of your podcasts, but when it comes down to discussions regarding manifesting you come across as a hard Leftist with no considerations beyond how far Left the Left can go. At least that’s where things seem to land in dialog.

I might be the most vocal (all those music lessons as a wee laddy enable me to type really fast) but am hardly the only ILer to point out they lack of “official” political diversity of thought. And likewise you have a few that will race you to the far Left ends of the ideological spectrum.

Do you really see no difference between “4-8 year olds knowing that LGBTQIA+ people exist” and LGBTQIA++ ideologues inserting into public school curriculum LGBTQIA++ Intersectionality?

Do you really conflate “12 year olds should not be forced to raise a baby” from “no parental consent or even inform required for an abortion”?

To answer your questions. Of course it should not be illegal for children to know transgenders or gays exist exist.
Now when we get to medical decisions for minors, we do disagree. I think the parents are the appropriate decision makers for their children. Are there exceptions? Of course. Is blanket legislation appropriate? Absolutely not.

I want to check in at this point with you. Have I adequately answered at least these questions to your satisfaction?

I hear that you enact me this way. I personally think you are not enacting me properly, which is why I get so irritated when I see you misrepresent my views, or take them to an unnecessary extreme (such as accusing me of saying “parents have no business being involved in their children’s lives”, which is an obvious straw man argument. Can you understand why this would irritate me?) It’s also why I get irritated when, while trying to more fully explain my views to you, and all the various nuances contained therein, you make ad hominem accusations of me “thrashing in the weeds”. No, I’m not thrashing whatsoever, I am actually spending my time trying to carefully answer your questions and explain my reasoning to you.

As I mentioned in this discussion with Keith, it seems to me that the integral stage is the very first stage where our response to these kinds of questions is something like “it’s really complicated”. To every preceding stage — amber, orange, and green — the answers to questions like abortion, gender, etc. are all seen as simple, depending on the overall ideology of the group.

Abortion is simple to Amber — it’s a sinful practice, and if you just outlaw it and it will go away. It’s simple to Orange — it’s a standard medical procedure, and should be available to all women. It’s simple to Green — women’s bodily autonomy is paramount, and should be protected at all costs. It’s only when we get to Integral when we can say, with full authenticity, “these are incredibly difficult and complicated issues.”

And when it comes to my experience with you, it feels like if I do not agree with any of these oversimplicactions —especially if I do not agree with your own personal views — and when I try to explain the subtleties of my thinking, you accuse me of being a far left Marxist. Doubly so when I try to answer every question you ask of me, but you seem to pick and choose which questions you want to answer, and only answer them once I’ve pointed out how one-sided the discussion is (which is what makes it feel like an interrogation).

Do you really see no difference between “4-8 year olds knowing that LGBTQIA+ people exist” and LGBTQIA++ ideologues inserting into public school curriculum LGBTQIA++ Intersectionality?

I don’t know what “intersectional ideology” in particular you are talking about. But I am certain that exists too. But I also think things like the so-called “parents’ rights bill” way overshoot the mark, and actually create more suffering and confusion for kids than it solves, for all the reasons that I have mentioned in the past. I don’t think supporters of the bill are actually actively taking the perspective of LGBT individuals – who will always be LGBT individuals regardless of the surrounding “ideologies”. And I care about them, far more than I care about whatever backward belief systems or fads the may be surrounding them. (And yes, in this talk with Keith, I absolutely acknowledge the existence of these “fads” and how they are creating confusion for many kids who would otherwise not feel so confused. I also draw a line in the discussion around what I feel like is appropriate at these age levels, and what is plainly inappropriate. Interestingly, I am more “conservative” than Keith is, in this particular discussion :slight_smile: )

However, I also know that fads come and go, what’s cool today will assuredly not be cool tomorrow, so this stuff doesn’t work me up too much. I am far more concerned with the overall physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of these kids, and I know that outright banning speech about sex and gender in schools will do far more harm than it will help. Which I think is probably fairly obvious, the moment we actually allow ourselves to take one of these perspectives.

Of course it should not be illegal for children to know transgenders or gays exist exist.

Then we appear to agree that the Florida law, which specifically forbids students from talking about the existence of LGBT people with teachers in the classroom, is overshooting the mark, and likely creating more suffering than it solves, by using undefined subjective language such as “developmentally appropriate” in the bill. What is developmentally appropriate, and who is making those calls? If a parent happens to think that ANY acknowledgement of LGBT people is “developmentally inappropriate”, can they hold the school liable for damages? And won’t this create an atmosphere where no teacher feels safe to acknowledge LGBT people in their classroom whatsoever? Are we actually taking the perspective of the kids who will be damaged by this chilling effect?

Do you really conflate “12 year olds should not be forced to raise a baby” from “no parental consent or even inform required for an abortion”?

I see it kind of like I see capital punishment. If there is even the smallest chance that even one single innocent person will be put to death by the state, then I cannot condone capital punishment. So I default to maximum liberty. In a similar vein, if there is even the smallest chance of a 12 year old being forced to bear and raise a child, then I cannot condone that either. I don’t care about the surrounding culture war, I care about that 12 year old child. If allowing a child to seek a doctor’s permission, rather than parental permission, helps ensure that no 12 year old will ever be forced to deliver a baby, then that is the solution I will go for. Again, I don’t care about the perceptions of “morality”, I care about the bottom line of human suffering.

So, I point to the absurdity of the question itself — why would a kid be too young to make this kind of medical decision, but not too young to bear and raise a child? I feel like this question gets directly to the heart of the issue, and surfaces its underlying contradiction.

Now when we get to medical decisions for minors, we do disagree. I think the parents are the appropriate decision makers for their children.

I understand that you feel this way. Do you acknowledge my counterpoint? In your view, should a Marxist collectivist parent also be allowed to force their 17 year old daughter to have an abortion, if the child herself does not want one? Or should parents only be the sole decision-makers if their decisions result in fewer abortions?

Similarly, should a parent be able to deny their child a life-saving medical intervention? Or should the child have some degree of autonomy when it comes to their own life-or-death decisions? How absolute do you think parents’ rights should be?

I might be the most vocal (all those music lessons as a wee laddy enable me to type really fast) but am hardly the only ILer to point out they lack of “official” political diversity of thought.

I mean, fair enough. We are a very small organization, obviously, and we tend to talk predominantly to integrally-informed people. Which means, we talk to people who have themselves grown into the green stage, and then grew out of the green stage, and are therefore capable of criticizing green from a post-green space, rather than a pre-green space. And honestly, there just haven’t been a whole lot of conservatives who a) meet those qualifications, and b) have self-selected into this community. There have been some, however, in the larger integral audience (mostly on Facebook, as well as in my own close friend group) and I am frequently in conversation with them in order to further hone my own ideas — which helps me to better steel man these perspectives while talking with people like Keith, Mark, Ken, etc., rather than only going after the easy straw man caricatures.

But it’s a problem when any view that transcludes Green is seen as “far left”, simply because there are some remnants of green in there. Which is why I think it’s important for us to hang our ideological preferences and assumptions on a hook next to the door whenever we walk into this community. And is why I love talking with conservatives — especially when they can pass the Green test :wink: Because again, the only way to integral, is through Green. There is no skipping that stage. Which means there is an entire field of Green-stage conservatism just waiting to be claimed — a space that is capable of criticizing the excesses of Amber and Orange (and yes, will probably understand phrases like “extractive capitalism” without abandoning capitalism altogether, and yes will probably be inclusive of multiple identity typologies, and yes will probably be just as concerned about things like climate change as their progressive counterparts) — and I think the first ones there are going to make a hell of a splash.

I actually agree the the Parental Rights law overshoot a bit. And also see why it was absolutely necessary to “codify” the rules of engagement with children. Just as with the Texas Rat your Neighbor abortion law. But it does seem to remove the wiggly room.
And the beauty is if these laws are onerous or unconstitutional they will be changed fairly quickly, albeit with some casualties as people try to “get it perfect”.
And in the mean time, I’d recommend the teachers and abortion providers consider following those meanie laws, unless they want to be the test cases. But to each his own.

It’s funny that I too am concerned similarly about a gender studies teacher steering even one minor in the wrong direction. Yet in our Abortion without Inform/Consent case you want to mandate zero liability for someone to disintermediate the parents from their minor children. Nothing could ever go wrong?

So government mandating disintermediation of the parent child relationship can NEVER go wrong?
I’ll ask you again, what other areas are up next? Gender fluidity is fair game. What about hormone therapy without parental consent? If invasive surgery is fair game what about full gender reassignment?
Or if you prefer, what’s NOT fair game in your mind that the government should stay hands off on? Anything?
Try to look past my brutish phrasing if you can. I’m trying to understand your concept of parental decision making in their child’s life and that of the State.

I acknowledge your counterpoint (and thought I already had).

Of course not. The parents should never be able to force taking of a human fetus’ life if the mother waits to give birth.

Of course the parents shouldn’t be able to deny life saving treatment to a child.
But IF a decision is to be made regarding care of a minor, absolutely the parents are the final decision maker.

I agree completely. It’s tough finding people just at the perfect level that we can communicate.

I am not sure why that should be the goal. The goal should be to reduce suffering, and to acknowledge that complexity at this scale always requires some degree of “wiggly room”.

And the beauty is if these laws are onerous or unconstitutional they will be changed fairly quickly, albeit with some casualties as people try to “get it perfect”.

I don’t buy it. Maybe with a balanced Supreme Court, I’d have some faith. But the the current 6-3 skewing (which does not accurately represent the views and values of the nation) means, to me, that conservative ideology will take precedence over, you know, precedents.

So government mandating disintermediation of the parent child relationship can NEVER go wrong?

When did I say that? This is an example of you hyperbolizing my views into all-or-nothing statements, and putting words in my mouth. I never said it can NEVER go wrong. I simply think that eliminating obstacles between a 12 year old and her necessary abortion will go wrong less often than reinforcing obstacles. It also prevents children from seeking unsafe, possibly lethal abortion alternatives because they fear their parent’s judgment. So let the doctors be the intermediary, not the government, I say.

I’ll ask you again, what other areas are up next?

They call the “slippery slope” a fallacy for a reason :wink: I simply do not subscribe to the idea that “we should not do anything, because something could at some point go unexpectedly wrong somewhere”. Perfect is the enemy of the good, and all that.

How about this — we already have a framework for government disintermediation of the parent child relationship. If a parent is abusing their children, the government (CPS) can separate the parent from the child. I personally think forcing an adolescent to bear a child would count as child abuse, as would denying them a life-saving medical procedure. So the government (or, in this case, the doctors) can intervene. Which is why I believe that, if a father (or anyone else) rapes and impregnates a child, and the girl cannot get parental approval for the abortion, that child should have legally-protected recourse.

Now, as for your slippery slope, couldn’t some say that denying gender reassignment surgery would also qualify as abuse? Sure, they could, and probably will — but I don’t think the law would support that. It would not qualify as a medical emergency, because the parent is not actively doing something to harm their child, and remains something the adolescent can still consider once they are an adult. But even this is a bit more complex than all that — for example, I think I am okay with things like puberty blockers for adolescents who desire them, with all of the psychological and physiological treatments required to access those therapies, so long as the effects of those puberty blockers are reversible (which, as far as I understand, they are).

And I think this stuff is going to become even more complex as we continue to move toward something like a “post-human” stage of technological development. The physical boundaries of self and identity are rapidly changing, due largely to our rapidly chaining technologies. Once upon a time, organ transplants were something like a post-human science fiction technology. Now they are common. The more that becomes medically and technologically possible, the more we are confronted with the blurry lines of our own humanity.

“Of course not. The parents should never be able to force taking of a human fetus’ life if the mother waits to give birth.”

Does this seem contradictory to you? That a parent can force their child to NOT have an abortion, but should never be allowed to force their child TO have an abortion? Which makes me ask — is this really about “parental rights”, or is this all really just a proxy for the anti-abortion culture war?

Of course the parents shouldn’t be able to deny life saving treatment to a child.
But IF a decision is to be made regarding care of a minor, absolutely the parents are the final decision maker.

Again, this seems contradictory — “they shouldn’t be able to deny”, versus “absolutely the parents are the final decision maker.”

So, if the parents are ABSOLUTELY the final decision maker, it follows that they should, in fact, be able to deny a life-saving medical procedure. Absolute is absolute, after all!

That’s not quite what I was saying :slight_smile: I personally feel comfortable communicating with all sorts of people, and do regularly. But when it comes to my career, which is to help to build and sustain the integral project – which is itself attempting to help solidify the teal space for teal people – my priority is to bring more integrally-informed (i.e. post-green) folks into the fold. Does that make sense?

Just like if you were trying to create a knowledge repository for, say, mechanical engineering, you would probably prefer that your primary contributors were familiar with engineering. It’s not that engineers don’t like non-engineers, or can’t communicate with them, it’s simply that they are trying to do a specific thing for specific people, who can then go out into the world to build new structures for everyone else.

Also, I have a theory. When we are discussing issues like these, we are often each prioritizing different zones, and that can cause us to talk across from each other.

For example, when it comes to LGBT issues, you often focus on your concerns about things like the LGBT ideology (e.g. the Zone 3 discourse that has emerged), and how it might be causing some kids to question their identity and sexuality in ways they wouldn’t otherwise question. And I agree with you, this is a phenomenon that exists.

And I often focus on the lived experience of LGBT people (Zone 1 and 2), and the genuine hardships they experience simply because they were born with the hearts and brains that they were born with.

You are concerned with kids who aren’t gay or trans, becoming gay or trans because of their surrounding culture. I tend to think that is unlikely, because a) it’s hard for people to force themselves to be attracted to people they aren’t naturally and instinctively attracted to, and b) the number of trans people who say they later regret their transition is astonishingly small. The vast majority of kids who are experiencing this kind of “confusion” will sort it out eventually. I don’t know about you, but I also found puberty confusing as hell, both in terms of my emerging sexuality and my emerging identity. It has been a fundamentally confusing time for every generation since we started walking on two legs, and probably long before that. And every generation thinks that the newest generation is “doing it wrong”, because the younger generations aren’t confused in the exact same way they were when they were their age. Not to mention the accumulated shame and shadow that they may still be carrying with them from that time.

So I tend to be more concerned about the real LGBT kids, who exist right now in every public school in the country, who are currently experiencing hardships because of THEIR surrounding culture. And because the number of these kids greatly outweigh the number of kids who are becoming transgendered because it’s the latest fad, my priority is to them, but without losing sight of the others…

However, here’s the thing — I don’t think the reason more people are identifying as LGBT is because of surrounding cultural fads. And I don’t think the “confusion” is coming from schools or teachers. I think it’s coming from a few different places:

  • The internet, which is placing kids into some very strange and often extreme deconstructive information bubbles right at a time when their identity is beginning to emerge. The web itself, I think, is largely responsible for the rise of both the rate of LGBT-identified people, and for the rise of the surrounding fads and cultures. Not to mention the fact that most kids’ first exposure to sex comes from internet porn, especially in regions that outlaw basic sex education (because, surprise surprise, the majority of parents aren’t talking to their kids about these things).

  • The healthy differentiation of UR sex, UL identity, LL gender roles, and LR social dynamics.

  • The natural fluidity of human sexuality, which is apparently more spectrum-like than binary. It reminds me of a chart that is being passed around that showed the sudden rise of left-handedness in the early 20th century. Were more people suddenly becoming more left-handed? Of course not. But society was beginning to recognize, and even cater to, left-handed people, which is why the rate of left-handedness suddenly plateaus after a couple decades. I suspect the increasing rates of LGBT-identified people is due to the same reason.