A new research study suggests kindergarten teachers influence children to identify as heterosexual rather than gay or transgender. Approximately 94% of children identify as heterosexual. 5 percent identify as gay while 1% identifies as transgender.
Heidi Gansen, a University of Michigan doctoral student, blames the lack of gender diversity on preschool teachers, who are “actively promoting or encouraging heterosexual discourses and practices" among children.
The doctoral student's research findings are based on "observations in three preschools (nine classrooms total), and 39 interviews with preschool educators."
She described seeing teachers encouraging 2-year-old boys to hold hands with girls, while at the same time discouraging 2 boys from holding hands with each other.
Gansen's research found that teachers seemed "to stunt children from fully exploring gender roles."
During her observations of children role playing, Gansen noted that "not once did the teachers in two of the three schools suggest that it was appropriate for the girls to play the dad, or even have a household with two moms."
She added that none of the teachers she observed suggested that two boys can marry each other.
Gansen's research paper concluded that preschool teachers "disrupt gendered sexuality in multiple ways," leading to a majority of preschool children identifying as heterosexuals.
The sociology major wants to see teachers change their responses to children’s sexual "behaviors such as heterosexual romantic play (kissing and relationships)" and stop reinforcing heterosexual behavior among children.
Schools in California and New York are committed to reversing the traditional gendered student role.
When parents at one California school objected to a 5-year-old boy's "transition ceremony", the parents were told that their children could not opt-out of "gender identity and expression lessons".
The gender identity lessons are designed to normalize homosexuality and transgender behavior among preschool children.
A number of families decided to pull their children from the school.
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