Summary Study Finds Biological, Sex-Based Origins For How Children Express Gender

Summary Study Finds Biological, Sex-Based Origins For How Children Express Gender

A meta-analysis published in the Infant and Child Development Journal found gender isn’t just a social construct, but has its basis in a ‘biological origin.’
Nicole Russell
By

As the transgender movement marches on, science continues to debunk a core tenet of its belief system—that gender is fluid. Despite this, there remains a sharp partisan divide about transgender issues. But if the science is clear, what is there to fight about?

A study published in the Infant and Child Development Journal last November found gender isn’t just a social construct, but has its basis in a “biological origin.” The study doesn’t discuss transgenders. Its sole purpose was to review whether gender is a social construct. Feminist and other gender theory has posited for several decades that societal expectations largely or solely shape how males and females behave, not innate, biology-based and hardwired physical differences between the two sexes. This study found otherwise.

The authors studied children and play. Through a meta-analysis of research, reviewing 16 different studies on the topic of sex differences, which altogether included a total of 1,600 children, the authors found innate biology seems to influence boys and girls’ toy choices.

“Despite methodological variation in the choice and number of toys offered, context of testing, and age of child, the consistency in finding sex differences in children’s preferences for toys typed to their own gender indicates the strength of this phenomenon and the likelihood that has a biological origin,” the study says.

Parents of both boys and girls likely already knew this. Yet take those results a step further, and apply them to a key argument for transgenderism: sex isn’t biological, it’s just a social construct. If transgender people can defy a simple social construct, society can as well, granting their demand to let them act like they are part of the opposite sex.

Granted, this research only shows binary sex differences are innate and express themselves in consistent patterns, but it contradicts the argument transgenders and their fellow travelers use to insist it’s okay to convert one’s appearance and behavior from male to female (or vice versa) because gender is just a social construct.

Transgenders often parlay this into fighting for the ability to act publicly as a member of the opposite sex, such as using opposite-sex bathrooms and locker rooms, or for mandating that health insurance companies pay for their plastic surgeries. Transgenders must downplay biology to then claim they are justified demanding that other people accommodate their desires to destroy private places designated according to biological sex.

Transgender Wars Are Almost Exclusively Partisan

This brings us to the current public debate about transgender preferences. Last November, a Pew Research poll found a sharp partisan divide about transgender politics: “Overall, roughly half of Americans (54%) say that whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by the sex they were assigned at birth, while 44% say someone can be a man or a woman even if that is different from the sex they were assigned at birth.”

The political division contrasts much more. Eighty percent of Republicans say whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by their biological sex, while 64 percent of Democrats say someone’s gender can be different from his or her biological sex. Democrats with more education—a bachelor’s degree or higher—were more likely to believe gender could be fluid, while no educational divide existed among Republicans polled.

Even age didn’t influence views on this topic as much as political ideology. Almost all Democrats, regardless of age, clung to this belief. While Republicans thought society had gone too far in creating special preferences for transgender people, Democrats did not think society had gone far enough.

Obviously on its face this isn’t shocking, but when considered along with research that shows gender is innate and tied to biological sex, and that the desire to live as a transgender person is strongly linked to psychological dysphoria, it is actually surprising. The continued debate over transgender demands is an example of how the Left has made a fake political issue out of a real psychological one.

Nicole Russell is a senior contributor to The Federalist. She lives in northern Virginia with her four kids. Follow her on Twitter @russell_nm.

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