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31 May 2011

My 3.5 year old son
Dear Expert,

I would like your opinion on a statement that my 3.5 year old son has made a few times. One of them was last night when we arrived home from school he said out to no one in particular " when I grow up to be a girl and wear dresses" . I would like to know if this is just a phase that all boys and girls go through or is he confused in understanding the difference in the sexes or is he becoming curious in the opposite sex. I also have a 1 year old daughter who he is infatuated with and totally adores.

Kind regards,
Answer 246 views

01 Jan 0001

Am I remmbering correctly that this is a further deelopment in the tale of the dress-preferring lad we heard about last week ? Or is there a small epidemic starting up ?
Anyhow, it's not a phase ALL kids go through, but its more common than one might think. I suppose for some kids, they find boys usual garb to be drab and uninteresting, compared with the "pretty" dresses that tend to be offered to girls. At such a young age, gender norms are not yet fixed, and he is unlikely to understand what signiicance such remarks might have to an adult. He may, as more than a few kids think, assume that sex and gender is optional, and has so far formed a much more positive view of girls and women. And we generally don't take the time to explain societal norms about gender behaviours and markers to kids, assuming they'll just work it out for themselves. Maybe your lad is unusual more in sharing such thinking with you, than in thinking any such thoughts
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