• frank
    2.1k
    The whole point of education it purportedly to prepare you for adult life in the society you are in. Namely, for participating in the economy, in social interactions and in the political system in the appropriate ways.MindForged

    Per Jefferson, the point was to teach people to read so they can educate themselves prior to voting. Does public education end up shaping people for better or worse beyond that? Probably. If you want to call that social engineering, fine by me. I'm strongly against adding anything to the curriculum that's meant to influence students one way or another. Make sure they have what they need to make their own decisions and leave it there.

    As Baden mentioned earlier, it's a non-issue anyway. Dwelling on it is to embrace a distraction from real problems, don't you agree?
  • MindForged
    755
    Per Jefferson, the point was to teach people to read so they can educate themselves prior to voting.frank

    Me:

    Namely, for participating in the economy, in social interactions and in the political system in the appropriate ways.MindForged


    I'm strongly against adding anything to the curriculum that's meant to influence students one way or another. Make sure they have what they need to make their own decisions and leave it there.frank


    Unless you are arguing to change the current social engineering that already influences students one way or another I don't take this too seriously. It's exactly the blind spot I was pointing at.
  • frank
    2.1k
    I don't take this too seriously.MindForged

    OK. I think what you're saying is that since social engineering is already taking place in the schools, there's no reason we shouldn't add more.

    So let's open wide the door to that. Let's not just allow gender blurring, let's actively reinforce it. I'd say that once we, as a society have decided to look at things that way, the entities with interest in influencing children will start lining up. Things will probably be easiest for the entities that have a lot of money.

    Like the NRA.
  • MindForged
    755
    OK. I think what you're saying is that since social engineering is already taking place in the schools, there's no reason we shouldn't add more.frank

    I'm saying that you haven't made clear if you have a principled stance against social engineering in general. If you do, that would entail a commitment to changing the current educational system and policy to be "neutral" on some set of things (good luck with that). If you don't have such a principled stance such that you seek to change how things are currently structured, then I you're playing by a double standard.

    And in any case, education is largely about social engineering. As I alluded to, trying to remove it seems to be a performative contradiction.
  • frank
    2.1k


    Again, like the NRA.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.8k
    What is being overlooked in this thread is the psychological development of a child BEFORE it gets to school. The environment that the parents provide and how the parents behave are adopted as the norms for that child before it even gets into the educational system. My wife has been a teacher for 20 years and I have seen how the development of each child before they are placed in the public educational system has a drastic impact on how that child behaves in school and how it even perceives authority figures in general.

    This thread also ignores the natural inclination of children to see things innocently. The way they explore and adopt ideas about the world is a personal experience, not some social construction. You can observe babies discovering their bodies and forming their own concepts about the differences between themselves and others by the age of two.

    The point here is that if the left really wants to achieve the "honorable" goal of gender-neutrality, then that would really entail forcing hormone treatment on pregnant mothers so that the fetus adopts a more sex-neutral state (so those sexual differences aren't noticible) and then removing all children from their parents after birth and raising them all by the state. It seems to me that it would also have to abolish private Christian/Jewish/Islamic schools as those reinforce the binary sex/gender concept.

    Parents should have options on where to send their kids to school and the ideas that their children are exposed to. This is why magnet and charter schools are good alternatives to the public school system which is essentially failing our children anyway. This is how you create diversity, not by applying gender-neutrality which actually stifles diversity and tries to make everyone the same.
  • unenlightened
    3.1k
    What is being overlooked in this thread is the psychological development of a child BEFORE it gets to school. The environment that the parents provide and how the parents behave are adopted as the norms for that child before it even gets into the educational systemHarry Hindu

    I you had read the link in the op, you would have come across this:
    One of the group’s teachers, Izabell Sandberg, 26, noticed a shift in a 2-year-old girl whose parents dropped her off wearing tights and pale-pink dresses. The girl focused intently on staying clean. If another child took her toys, she would whimper.

    “She accepted everything,” Ms. Sandberg said. “And I thought this was very girlie. It was like she was apologizing for taking up space.”

    Until, that is, a recent morning, when the girl had put a hat on and carefully arranged bags around herself, preparing to set off on an imaginary expedition. When a classmate tried to walk off with one of her bags, the girl held out the palm of her hand and shouted “No” at such a high volume that Ms. Sandberg’s head swiveled around.

    It was something they had been practicing.

    By the time March rolled round, the girl had gotten so loud that she drowned out the boys in the class, Ms. Sandberg said. At the end of the day, she was messy. The girl’s parents were less than delighted, she said, and reported that she had become cheeky and defiant at home.

    But Ms. Sandberg has plenty of experience explaining the mission to parents.

    “This is what we do here, and we are not going to stop it,” she said.

    That is a clear description of the effect of parental upbringing being undone, and the parents' negative response to it.

    So you are wrong, it is not being overlooked.

    if the left really wants to achieve the "honorable" goal of gender-neutrality, then that would really entail forcing hormone treatment on pregnant mothers so that the fetus adopts a more sex-neutral state (so those sexual differences aren't noticible) and then removing all children from their parents after birth and raising them all by the stateHarry Hindu

    And this is a completely ridiculous and insulting claim arising from your now obviously deliberate conflation of gender as social construct and sex as biology. It is very very clear that gender neutrality in education has nothing to do with the suppression of sex differences, nor is there any suggestion in any country being discussed here that all children be raised by the state.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.8k
    So you are wrong, it is not being overlooked.unenlightened
    . So it wasn't discussed since being mentioned the OP. That was my point.

    “She accepted everything,” Ms. Sandberg said. “And I thought this was very girlie.
    And here you have a great example of how the left is just as guilty of placing labels on people and putting them in arbitrary boxes that fit their assumptions, as the right.

    What you and the teacher are doing is confusing the wide variety of human behavior that isn't governed by sexual characteristics and labeling them as "gender".

    Whimpering and being passive isn't an indication of being "girlie" (whatever that means in this sense). It is an indicator of having low self-esteem or self-worth which a male could exhibit as well. The teacher taught the girl self-worth, not how not to be "girlie", or more "boyish", as those are the very stereotypes that you want to eliminate.

    nor is there any suggestion in any country being discussed here that all children be raised by the state.unenlightened
    Really, then what is this?:
    “This is what we do here, and we are not going to stop it,” she said.
    It seems to me that the left is okay with a parent having the choice whether to terminate the child's life or not while the child is still physically dependent upon the mother, but once it is out if the womb, the child is ours (the state's). Does your link provide any information that the parents mistreated their child or treated their daughter differently than they would a boy? It seems all speculation on the teacher's part - that they raised their child as a "girl" rather raising her as they would have raised any other child - one with a lack of self-worth.

    I have a daughter and two boys and I've taught them both to have a good sense of self-worth. It has nothing to do with feeling like, or being labeled, a boy or girl.

    After my daughter read this, she was offended that a teacher would equate her "girlness" with whimpering and letting others walk all over you. Being a girl has nothing to do with that. It has to do with how one values themselves, not anything to do with "gender" - whatever that means.

    That is a clear description of the effect of parental upbringing being undone, and the parents' negative response to it.unenlightened
    Sure, but you're ignoring my wife's own personal experience. If anything it shows that we don't know the influence a teacher has over a child as opposed to their own parents. You seem to think that a teacher's influence will always be greater than a parent's. This simply isn't the case.
  • unenlightened
    3.1k
    Consider the commonplace idiom, "Boys will be boys."

    ... a flippant way to excuse the actions and attitudes of boys and men of all ages. It’s typically used to explain rowdy or naughty behavior—things like jumping in mud puddles, roughhousing, and raising Cain. It’s also, unfortunately, used to explain away things like sexual assault allegations and other serious crimes. It doesn’t hold individuals responsible for their behavior and choices but rather infers all males are preprogrammed to act in such ways.

    I think this is understated. It does not merely excuse, but actually approves. This is not to say, by the way, that it is necessarily the case that boys are not on average, by hormonal influence or some such, more rowdy, aggressive, naughty, etc. But it is a fact also, that society tends to excuse/allow/approve, behaviours differentially between boys and girls. Inevitably, the effect of such differential treatment is to exaggerate differences between the sexes.

    And this is also done in obviously arbitrary ways as well, such as dress codes, trousers v skirts, blue v pink, short hair v long hair.

    Woman-boobs tend to be bigger than man-boobs, and this is a matter of biology. And a reasonable case can be made that natural selection ensures that men find bigger boobs attractive because *genes, childrearing bla*. And then sexual selection ensures that the difference becomes exaggerated, because that's what sexual selection tends to do - hence peacock tails and like useless appendages.

    In short, sexism is 'natural'. Genes will be genes.

    So it is unsurprising that folks like and seek to promote sexual stereotypes. And it is unsurprising that in the end, their arguments reduce to, 'well it's natural'. It is natural; what is unnatural is equality and freedom.
  • frank
    2.1k
    Taking a closer look, the preschools mentioned in the OP are what Americans would call private schools. In the US, private schools could also provide a gender-neutral experience for children if desired. The objections I had were about public schooling, and so again, the OP is a non-issue.
  • unenlightened
    3.1k
    Taking a closer look, the preschools mentioned in the OP are what Americans would call private schools.frank

    That's interesting, because it is exactly the feeling I have about the complaints about the APA guidelines; that if a closer look had been taken, it would have been a non-issue. Perhaps not in every case, but in general, it seems as though a few words - 'gender', 'identity', 'social', have become imbued with a blinding emotional potency, that prevents that close look.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.8k
    So it is unsurprising that folks like and seek to promote sexual stereotypes. And it is unsurprising that in the end, their arguments reduce to, 'well it's natural'. It is natural; what is unnatural is equality and freedom.unenlightened
    Altruism is a natural behavior of social animals. It is part of what defines them as social.

    You also might want to educate yourself on game theory.

    Freedom AND equality? Are you so sure that they can coexist?
  • frank
    2.1k
    That's interesting, because it is exactly the feeling I have about the complaints about the APA guidelines; that if a closer look had been taken, it would have been a non-issue. Perhaps not in every case, but in general, it seems as though a few words - 'gender', 'identity', 'social', have become imbued with a blinding emotional potency, that prevents that close look.unenlightened

    This is interesting. Along with this.

    I didn't look into the objections to the APA guidelines because your spokesman, Baden, had advised that the Swedish preschools reveal what's wrong with the USA. Attendance at those schools is voluntary and paid for by parents (although there are subsidies).

    I've been thinking a lot lately about how provocation produces backlash. Do you feel like you might have approached this topic with the intention of being provocative? Is being provocative more important than understanding how others see things? If so, why?
  • Baden
    7.3k
    because your spokesman, Baden, had advised that the Swedish preschools reveal what's wrong with the USA.frank

    So, seeing as you didn't tag me, I can plausibly deny seeing this and correcting the record. Carry on. :up:
  • unenlightened
    3.1k
    Do you feel like you might have approached this topic with the intention of being provocative? Is being provocative more important than understanding how others see things? If so, why?frank

    I don't think so. One of the things I have tried to stay away from, but others have wanted to go into is the rather uncommon cases of individuals who actually want to change sex. So I provided links to principles of education, and principles of psychology, and nothing about principles of hormone treatment or surgery. I warned that the topic was somewhat emotive and gave a fair bit of reading in an attempt to slow things down. Short of not mentioning the war at all, I don't think there is much more I could have done.

    It seemed to me that this site is well equipped to tackle such issues, having intelligent people from both sides of the political spectrum and both sides of the Atlantic.
  • frank
    2.1k
    So the scholarly comments on the APA were also about what's wrong with the USA? I didn't realize you saw the US as a land of scholars.

    By and large the scholars objected to the political tone of the APA guidelines. One scholar, Pamela Paresky, commented that following the APA's approach would result in a breakdown in trust between psychologist and client, and that some of the guidelines actually conflict with the APA's code of professional conduct.

    How would you address those concerns?
  • frank
    2.1k
    Short of not mentioning the war at all, I don't think there is much more I could have done.unenlightened

    I'm not clear on what war you're talking about. Could you specify?
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.7k


    You're not really to blame for this either. The sex/gender binary more or less considers taking a gender neutral position amounts to changing the sex of the person involved.

    Our gender/sex roles are formed with sorting people of particular bodies in specific positions through the concept of sex. The moment we conceive of gender neutrality, that someone of any body (and sex) maybe of a given social role, we destroy this sorting of bodies.

    In terms of the gender/sex roles, gender neutrality destroys both men and women, turns women into men and men into women. It puts "male" bodies into roles that are supposedly only "female". It puts "female" bodies into roles which are only "male." The restriction of these sex/gender roles only needs a body to defy one of stipulations for it to be provocative.
  • unenlightened
    3.1k
    It's in the thread title. Perhaps you haven't been on the same topic from the beginning. The thread is supposed to be about an ideological war between vague terms, progressives and conservatives on the front of identity. I could have focussed on race, but I thought it would be too provocative so I chose gender. My thesis is that this war is more virulent in America than Europe, and the flow of the thread has rather confirmed this. Not that there is no conflict about it in Europe, and that is why I presented the APA and its enemies and for comparison the European experiment in Education.
  • andrewk
    1.9k
    I'm not clear on what war you're talking about. Could you specify?frank
  • unenlightened
    3.1k
    Yeah, and that. :heart:
  • unenlightened
    3.1k
    Oh and bad news - the progressives always win in the end because time is on their side.
  • frank
    2.1k
    Love is a battlefield.
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