Do you ask students what their preferred gender pronoun is?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Swetha, Sep 25, 2012.

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  1. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Sep 26, 2012

    I also would not ask, but I would respect their wishes if they approached me about it. I have 3 transgendered students in our GSA and the topic never came up, but it might be a good one to discuss at our meeting tomorrow.
     
  2. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Ridiculous? Some people are transgendered or questioning their gender identity ... an attitude of "that idea is ridiculous" makes the situation negative. It doesn't have to be a negative situation.
     
  3. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    I haven't encountered this in the classroom, yet, but I did at my university with friends/acquaintances. I never actually asked; I just picked up on how others were referring to a biological female who uses a male pronoun. I wouldn't ask a student. I would just listen to how his/her peers refer to him/her. :)
     
  4. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    No, I would never ask that question. Call me crazy, but I call boys "he" and girls "she." Even if a boy believes he is a girl, it doesn't make him a girl.

    I don't acknowledge sex change operations by switching the pronouns either. No matter how many surgeries you have, a man is never going to truly be a woman, and vice versa.
     
  5. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    That's interesting...it also isn't something I've thought about. I teach high school, so I don't use "boys and girls", but I use "ladies and gentlemen."
     
  6. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    This!

    I'm also pretty gender neutral in my classroom, but would respect the wishes of a student if brought to my attention. I have a friend who goes by ze/zir.

    As teachers, we have a big responsibility to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible to all of our students.
     
  7. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    No, I've never encountered this situation.
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    When I have a question, I ask. I had one student who wanted to be "she" when she was "dressed,: (wearing make-up, nail polish, etc.) and "he" when he wasn't. It all depended on what mood he was in when she woke up in the morning.
     
  9. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    That's INCREDIBLY disrespectful.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Probably sexist in some way of me, but I refer to everyone as "guys". Like: "Hey guys! Let's get down to work now!"

    If I've ever been in a group of friends, even if they were all female, I'd refer to them all as "guys". I don't think of it in anyway showing preference to a male gender. It's just the term I use to address a large group of people.

    @Greendream: As Mike said, that would be intensely disrespectful of you to say that to someone who views themselves as a different gender. It is a biological wiring of the brain that is responsible for this and is not normally something they chose through any fault of their own.
     
  11. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I don't think it's sexist. I just think it's the non-Southern version of "yall". I say "guys" and "you guyses" etc. Even if all female. It's just referring to a group of people.:cool:
     
  12. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Sep 26, 2012

    I work in an elementary school, so it hasn't come up. However, when I filled out my background check application, there were several options under gender (e.g. female, male, female living as a male, male living as a female.) I had to read it twice because I'm used to having only two options.
     
  13. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Well, if they're not sure which one they are, they're still one or the other or maybe a mixture of both, so I think "boys and girls" is fine. Not to be flippant, but what else would they be?
     
  14. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    There's nothing disrespectful about calling a woman "she" and calling a man "he." Less than 1% of the population is born a hermaphrodite. The rest of us have stark biological differences that make us men or women.

    I go by a person's biological sex, not by their construed gender identity.
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

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    That's what I was thinking! It's not like a person would be a "dog" or "it" or something. And I never divide my class "girls over here and boys over here" or anything.
     
  16. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I will respect other people's identified gender, but until they have their surgery, I want them to use their biological bathroom. I have a 13-year-old daughter and we were waiting to have the oil changed in our car and a man dressed as a woman kept leering in a sexual manner at my daughter. Do you think I want him to follow her into the bathroom? After surgery and hormones, he might not have that sex drive or strength that he does as a man in a dress.

    It's a conundrum to me - the balance of safety vs. respect.
     
  17. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I find it pretty shocking and horrifying that a teacher would ignore a young person's preferred gender identity because of his or her own personal beliefs. It's NOT your decision or judgement to make as an educator. Keep those things at home.

    I can't say I would ask a class of little kiddos beforehand, but if someone had a specific preference, I would never ignore it.
     
  18. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Sep 26, 2012

    For all of you who want to let people decide their own gender identity, answer this hypothetical scenario for me.

    A boy decides he wants to identify as a girl. Are you willing to:

    1. Let him use the girls' bathroom?
    2. Let him play on girls' sports teams?
    3. Let him apply for women's scholarships when the time comes?

    If your answer to any of these is no, then you don't really believe he is a girl in your heart of hearts. It's easy to switch a pronoun. Not quite so easy to share a bathroom with a "girl" who is anatomically male.
     
  19. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Yes, yes, and yes. When it comes to sports, as long as they've started estrogen.
     
  20. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 26, 2012

    We've had this discussion before. It's a major disagreement here. The one time I've had a student with a gender identity issue, the parents came to the teachers. They let us know that their 8th grade genetically female student identified male, and that we were to identify this student as male. We happily went along with the parents, and the student, when last I saw him, landed the role of Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady in the middle school play. He was great!

    In other words, if you have any doubts, seek some guidance from the student's family. It made any doubts of sex vs gender identity a much easier issue. Personally, I go with what the individual student wants, but that's because I've known and worked with transgendered people for decades.
     
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