That’s the sub-title of Focus on the Family’s web page entitled, “Helping Boys Become Men, and Girls Become Women.” The page goes on to offer a checklist of telltale signs to watch out for in determining a child’s (in this case, a young boy’s) developing sexuality:
1. A strong feeling that they are “different” from other boys.
2. A tendency to cry easily, be less athletic, and dislike the roughhousing that other boys enjoy.
3. A persistent preference to play female roles in make-believe play.
4. A strong preference to spend time in the company of girls and participate in their games and other pastimes.
5. A susceptibility to be bullied by other boys, who may tease them unmercifully and call them “queer,” “fag” and “gay.”
6. A tendency to walk, talk, dress and even “think” effeminately.
7. A repeatedly stated desire to be — or insistence that he is — a girl.
Interestingly, the page also points parents who suspect that their child might be gay to a listing of Professional Resources.
What’s interesting about that (in my view) is that this is the first time I’ve seen ex-gay Reparative Therapy aimed squarely at young children whose sexual development is still incomplete. It seems the idea of diagnosing pre-homosexual tendencies in young children is gaining traction. The thinking, I presume, is that “curing” kids of homosexuality is easier if the condition is caught and treated early. This fits logically with the “homosexuality as treatable disease” idea in vogue with the Religious Right.
This idea actually would make a lot of sense–if homosexuality were in fact a disease that could be cured through therapy.
I’m one of the few people I know who began ex-gay reparative therapy to cure my homosexuality while I was still a young teenager–before I’d actually had sex. In my own experience, trying to “treat the condition early” made no difference that I can tell. But I’m curious to hear from others of you out there who may have similar development timelines…
Did any of you XGW readers experience ex-gay intervention as a child or adolescent? If so, what are your thoughts on this idea of marketing ex-gay therapy to the parents of very young kids?