Gender Confusion in the Kindergarten?

Gender Confusion in the Kindergarten?

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
October 18, 2006

Some cultural developments represent massive shifts in consciousness and worldview. These developments can only be explained by a dramatic reshaping of our moral sense and understanding of basic reality.

Such is the case with news coming from both coasts indicating that “transgendered children” are now enrolled in kindergarten programs.

From The Miami Herald:

One little girl entering Broward County kindergarten this fall is actually a boy.

Few will know this genetic truth, because the 5-year-old’s parents and school administrators have agreed that it’s in his best interest to blend in as a female.

Mental health professionals have diagnosed Pat — not his real name — with gender dysphoria, a condition in which a person believes that he or she is the opposite gender. After two years of examination, they have determined that he is not simply effeminate or going through a phase.


The soon-to-be kindergartner looks quite feminine, cartwheeling around the yard and playing with dolls. Pat says he hates his penis, and he refuses to wear boys’ clothing.

He and his three older siblings — two girls and a boy — live in a middle-class Broward County neighborhood with their father, an attorney, and their mother, who has a master’s degree in counseling.

Pat’s parents had never heard of gender dysphoria until they took their child for treatment. He was insisting that he was a girl, and often tried to hide his penis between his legs.

From The San Francisco Chronicle:

Park Day School is throwing out gender boundaries.

Teachers at the private Oakland elementary school have stopped asking the children to line up according to sex when walking to and from class. They now let boys play girls and girls play boys in skits. And there’s a unisex bathroom.

Admissions director Flo Hodes is even a little apologetic that she still balances classes by gender.

Park Day’s gender-neutral metamorphosis happened over the past few years, as applications trickled in for kindergartners who didn’t fit on either side of the gender line. One girl enrolled as a boy, and there were other children who didn’t dress or act in gender-typical ways. Last year the school hired a consultant to help the staff accommodate these new students.

“We had to ask ourselves, what is gender for young children?” Hodes said. “It’s coming up more and more.”

Park Day’s staff members are among a growing number of educators and parents who are acknowledging gender variance in very young children. Aurora School, another private elementary school in Oakland, also is seeing children who are “gender fluid” and hired a clinical psychologist to conduct staff training.

Let’s be honest here — these stories represent a breathtaking shift in the way human beings view sex, sexuality, and gender. The whole transgender issue, now a major focus of public interest, is proof of this. But the fact that these two articles deal with “transgender children” diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” at the age of 5 represents something altogether more shocking. “Gender fluid” children in kindergarten?

The urgent question is this: What worldview makes such a proposal plausible? The assumption that gender is a fluid category is rooted in the belief that gender is a socially constructed reality, not necessarily related to biology and anatomy — a central tenet of postmodern theory. The idea that the self is autonomous and must serve its own impulses and sense of reality is rooted in the ethos of autonomous individualism that now dominates in our culture. The idea that this self bears a moral duty to express itself without external repression is rooted in the therapeutic assumptions of modern society.

The fact that this set of assumptions is now directed to five-year-olds is a revolution in itself — and so is the expectation that kindergarten programs must accommodate such developments. As one of the “authorities” cited in the reports argued, five-year-olds need “a place where children can express what they want to.” She was not talking about art, you understand.

Christians must look to persons struggling with what the therapeutic community now calls “gender dysphoria” with genuine compassion. This has to be an excruciating struggle. Nevertheless, we cannot accept the assumptions that support this concept of gender, sex, and the self. These assumptions are antithetical to the biblical worldview, and can only be explained by a deep rejection of God’s gift of sex and gender — a gift that is for His glory and for our good.

“Transgender children” in kindergarten? We can only wonder what can come next. The logic cannot stop at age five.


MORE: We discussed this issue on Tuesday’s edition of The Albert Mohler Program. Listen here.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

I am always glad to hear from readers. Write me using the contact form. Follow regular updates on Twitter at @albertmohler.

Subscribe via email for daily Briefings and more (unsubscribe at any time).