Many in today’s culture applaud when an individual chooses to identify as the opposite gender.
But the media and pop-culture portrayal of transgenderism as the ultimate form of human freedom does not tell the whole story. As a result, the ripple effects of an individual’s decision to identify as transgender are often ignored.
Those on the outside who celebrate the transition rarely have to live with its aftermath. But a transgender individual’s relatives — their children, for instance — may be forced to cope with the sudden disruption of their family’s dynamic.
Why Children Need a Mother and a Father
Children rely on their parents to provide them with a stable home until they come of age. As they mature, kids look to their mothers and fathers to impart unique wisdom based on the gendered role each parent fulfills in their lives.
A mother helps her daughter embrace womanhood, while the girl’s father serves as the standard she relies on to judge all men. In contrast, a father teaches his son to be a man, and the boy’s mother demonstrates how a woman should be treated by a man.
Both parents model a set of behaviors for their children in order to help them grow into confident men and women. The values parents impart upon their children, however, are tied to the parent’s gender.
Psychiatrist Scott Haltzman’s observations about why children need both a mother and a father appeared in the 2013 book, “Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives.”
In the chapter, “The Effect of Gender-Based Parental Influences on Raising Children,” Haltzman described how biological differences between men and women shape their parenting styles.
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“Women, compared to men, have higher levels of oxytocin — the hormone responsible for emotional bonding — and oxytocin receptors,” Haltzman wrote.
“Oxytocin serves to calm anxiety, reduce motor activity, and foster an increase in touch. In contrast, testosterone — present in men at levels tenfold higher than women — is correlated to an increase in motor activity in infant boys and may be responsible for higher levels of physical activities in men compared to women.”
Gender differences are indeed real. Rather than deny them, society should embrace the complementary natures of mothers and fathers and the balanced environment the pairing provides for a child.
Consequences of a Parent’s Gender Transition
Men and woman can only imitate the characteristics associated with the opposite genders. No matter how much they alter their bodies, male- or female-identifying individuals cannot fully embrace gender distinctive traits like masculinity and femininity.
Denise Shick, author of “My Daddy’s Secret,” described how her father’s decision to identify as a woman impacted her life.
“There is nothing more painful for a daughter than to watch her dad put on a bra or have him wear your clothes,” Shick wrote in an Op-Ed for The Daily Signal.
“No daughter should have to place her clothes in her dresser drawers by a code so she can know if he had been pawing through her underclothes.”
Eventually, Shick started to feel “guilty” about her body’s natural development into womanhood. This side effect resulting from her father’s transition, she said, was neither “fair” nor “healthy.”
“As a culture we are very willing to address the emotional distress, isolation and other negative issues of people who come out as transgender adults,” Shick wrote.
“But we have not even begun to discuss the issues involved and the impact this has on their wives and children.”
Prioritizing Children’s Needs Over Gender Ideology
This type of adult fulfillment cannot take precedence over providing children with a stable home.
To help children grow into healthy individuals, cultural trends should not bestow false notions about biology by underestimating the complementary gender roles of mothers and fathers.
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