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Belmont Club

It, Our Child

March 4th, 2013 - 3:26 pm

The debate over nature vs. nurture has prompted ever more researchers to investigate the subject. One of the more interesting outcomes is that attitudes found in children have been taught, after all. In a study of whether children were “born racist,” researchers found that racist attitudes in some children were actually influenced by subtly racist attitudes in their “liberal” parents:

Vittrup was taken aback — these families volunteered knowing full well it was a study of children’s racial attitudes. Yet once they were aware that the study required talking openly about race, they started dropping out.

It was no surprise that in a liberal city like Austin, every parent was a welcoming multiculturalist, embracing diversity. But according to Vittrup’s entry surveys, hardly any of these white parents had ever talked to their children directly about race. They might have asserted vague principles — like “Everybody’s equal” or “God made all of us” or “Under the skin, we’re all the same” — but they’d almost never called attention to racial differences.

They wanted their children to grow up colorblind. But Vittrup’s first test of the kids revealed they weren’t colorblind at all. Asked how many white people are mean, these children commonly answered, “Almost none.” Asked how many blacks are mean, many answered, “Some,” or “A lot.” Even kids who attended diverse schools answered the questions this way.

More disturbing, Vittrup also asked all the kids a very blunt question: “Do your parents like black people?” Fourteen percent said outright, “No, my parents don’t like black people”; 38 percent of the kids answered, “I don’t know.” In this supposed race-free vacuum being created by parents, kids were left to improvise their own conclusions — many of which would be abhorrent to their parents.

It may turn out that the question of whether Sasha or Storm or Coy was born a girl or boy is inseparable from and intertwined with the issue of what their parents subconsciously wanted them to be, even if they were unaware of it.

So are we free? Can we safely teach our children anything without guilt? Or can we only safely teach them things if it’s OK? Or is the world irredeemably divided into archetypes with which we have to live?


The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99

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Top Rated Comments   
So for a teenage boy to hang out in the girls’ locker room and showers need only declare he is transgendered?

I sense opportunity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I had been taught never to go into the girls’ bathroom, but nobody ever said anything about the Ladies’ Lounge.

THE LADIES’ ROOM LOUNGE

I remember the day I lost my way
And wandered by mistake
Into a gorgeous ladies’ lounge
And did a double take
Soft lighting, carpet, and soft chairs
And mirrors by the score
Embraced a room of women who
Looked up as through the door
The apparition that was I
Asked pardon for my fault
They looked away as if to say
Too bad, it’s only Walt
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think nature determines certain things statistically. The roughly 50:50 birth distribution between boys and girls, the average height of races and genders, etc is pretty much a given. In time people may discover they are statistical anomalies. For truly gifted children are not statistically normal.

But you find out if you're Steve Jobs or Albert Einstein or Charles Manson in due time. When you're 4 years old your parents and society owe you a template. When you ask them "where do I knock?" a good parent says "the door". You shouldn't bring kids up asking them questions like "do you think you're a boy or a girl?"

The normative is a guide without which a child would be very much disadvantaged. I am glad I was taught to walk on the floors and button my fly and told never to enter the girl's room. If we don't believe this, let's just take down the traffic signs and disable the stoplights and see what happens.

If in time people find a good reason for not behaving in the normative way they should make that decision as adults and not pursuant to some wacky fad their parents believed in growing up. I wonder how many of these transgender children are going to grow up hating their parents.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (75)
All Comments   (75)
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I think to be fair, someone should investigate the drinking water in sexually ambiguous households....just look at what pollution does to fish.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Conversion Therapy like most psychiatry and psychology is bogus. More research is needed into how genders are socially constructed; only then can be as a society construct, re-construct, and de-construct someone’s gender at will.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some people shouldn't be permitted to procreate. And how in the heck could someone tell that an 18-month old infant was expressing "itself" as one gender or another?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Reminded of a great line in the movie, Parenthood:
Tod: You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming a-hole be a father.

(or a mother)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have TG f(r)iends who discovered they were the "wrong" gender at elementary school ages. I think there has to be some sensitivity to this. My f(r)iends did not receive that sensitivity, and suffered for it.

Still, children are impressionable, and can be taught. I believe they can be falsely taught they are the "wrong" gender and be made to suffer, also. Lord save them from confused, PC parents.


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another article suggesting the world would be a better place if only everybody was a clone of myself -- a godly purist! But then, here in the U.S. that durn constitution and its protected individual freedoms would get in the way. Maybe someday we can return to stoning all those noncomformists to death and burning all the witches. So long as they don't try to dictate or mandate their values upon my family, I'll leave their lives to to their constitutional freedoms and God to deal with. I don't much care to live in and under some religious theocracy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
By noncomformists, I assume you mean “homophobes,” who are respected for their dissent and well-treated by homosexuals who tolerate diversity.

As to burning witches—if witchery were real, witches should be burned.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So you're against California prohibiting what sort of therapy people can offer?

The truth is that we never have choice. We just get a new form of coercion. One day homosexuality is prohiobited, the next day its prohibited to get help for it. Your form of government might work; but does it exist anywhere?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sorry - typed too fast.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Your form of government might work; but does it exist anywhere? "

Sure it does! Saudi Arabia, Iran, and most any fundementalist Muslim country. Of course, if one lives long enough, the U.S. may well become a Christian theocracy if the social conservatives can settle on which brand of church doctine they want to represent christianity and lead the theocracy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm sorry, but what you are advocating (parenthtically) is religious persecution.

"Conversion Therapy, for example, “is a range of pseudo-scientific treatments that aim to change sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual” and is — rightfully — condemned as unnatural."

I don't know what "conversion therapy" is or is supposed to be, but there are a range of therapies for helping people who have homosexual tendencies live a normal life according to their beliefs. The point is not to "change" your tendencies, but to deal with them so that you can live a normal traditional married life.

Of course it isn't perfect, but what therapy is? It is no more "unnatural" then helping a person deal with OCD or kleptomania or ADD or any of the many things people are born with that get in the way of their living the life they wish to live.

What you are suggesting is evil. (And by the way, wasn't homosexuality itself referred to as "unnatural" until recently? I would love to see someone make a statement about homosexuality that does not equally apply to incest.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
These parents disgust me. Stuff like this is why I send my boys to a private Christian school. Incidentally, I live in Austin. I first sent my kids to a "racially diverse" pre-school, but my oldest kept coming home and saying stuff like, "I don't like brown people." Try explaining to a 4-year-old why it's not ok to say that! I moved him to a less diverse school... comments ceased.

I'm probably in the minority here, but that pic of Bowie is hot :) Some guys can pull that androgynous look off and still be men!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Years ago, while stationed in Hawaii, my next-door neighbor, a Navy chief and his wife, had a son of pre-school age. The wife (a weird duck if ever there was one) made no bones about the fact that she would rather have had a daughter, and she not only steered him into little-girl activities, but she also dressed him up in girls clothes. They got reassigned to a new base and we lost track of them, but I always wondered how that poor kid ended up--probably in some bath house in San Francisco.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How curious. Many years ago, my wife and I attended a class on recognizing signs of sexual abuse of children. Over lunch, another attendee told us a heartbreaking tale. Her husband's father was a very macho Marine; her husband's mother wanted a little girl, and had dressed him in girl's clothes until he went off to elementary school, she painted his nails, etc. Not surprisingly, the father was absolutely furious, and apparently did not realize how much of this was the mother's doing.

Now, this woman was married to a very confused guy who was now preparing for sex change surgery. But of course, that could not have ANYTHING to do with the childrearing, could it?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Of course, which is hard-coded in our genes very clearly, is just a simple construct that can be changed at a whim, but political ideology, which is nothing hard-coded in our genes, is now a deep-seated, inborn thing that cannot be altered however much we try?

Am I reading this right? The more liberals twist and try to make their reasoning work, the loonier it gets. The scary thing is that so many people find it reasonable based on nothing so much than that so-called experts deliver these pronouncements.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I miss the ability to edit.

First bit should read "Of course, gender, which is ..."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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