How times change and with it the things kids learn in school!!
The other day I was walking with my 12 years old son and he asked me the difference between SEX & GENDER? Luckily for me I knew the basic difference and the gaps were filled by him in broader terms. He knew these terms because as a 7th Grade student Sex & Gender studies are part of their curriculum and he learned about these terms that day itself.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) released a new training manual for teachers recently. The training material describes concepts such as gender identity, gender incongruence, gender dysphoria, gender affirmation, heterosexuality, asexuality, bisexuality, among various others, in detail.
The training material also lists out a number of practical strategies for making schools sensitive and inclusive for transgender and gender non-conforming children.
I am glad the schools are open and willing to teach and talk about topics like sex, gender and stereotyping.
According to the medical website www.medicalnewstoday.com
“Sex” refers to the physical differences between people who are male, female, or intersex . A person typically has their sex assigned at birth based on physiological characteristics, including their genitalia and chromosome composition. This assigned sex is called a person’s “natal sex.”
Gender, on the other hand, involves how a person identifies. Unlike natal sex, gender is not made up of binary forms. Instead, gender is a broad spectrum. A person may identify at any point within this spectrum or outside of it entirely.
As a child of the nineties we lived in a world which was so different from today’s reality. The issues remained the same for a teen then and now but they were not taught and discussed this openly.
The children live in an era of information overload and as parents it becomes imperative that they are given the right tools to process this information.
Till not too long away I too was ignorant to these terms and found the terms he/him/his in some Instagram bio pretty amusing. Then I met a Gen Z, with whom I shared my amusement. As a vocal and woke Gen Z, I was given an immediate crash course on the new Gender Identifications.
And his recommendation led me to watch this amazing series called – Sex Education on NETFLIX. The characters face these questions with confusion, aplomb and denial. They use the terms that I was given a crash course of !!
Although the series is set in United Kingdom the feelings, angst and the confusion a young adult feel is the same everywhere. We are yet to reach their level of openness but at least the new curriculum is making that beginning and talking about it.
I am glad to see the change happening and hope our children grow up to become empathetic to the new normal.