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. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Sep 25, 2012

    :yeahthat:
     
  2. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Sep 25, 2012

    It's not something that I've really thought about before, to be honest.

    I don't think the idea is ridiculous though, especially if a student comes up to you and tells you that he/she wants to be referred to using a specific gender pronoun.
     
  3. imanashhole

    imanashhole Companion

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    Yes, we spoke about this in many of my graduate classes. That it further separates the two sexes, creates an even greater acknowledgment that there is a difference between the two. I don't necessarily agree with those sentiments, but we were taught to use gender neutral phrases and I very often address my class as "friends." Ex: "Good morning, friends."
     
  4. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I'm failing to see how it's in any way "ridiculous".

    No need to talk down to me. I know what I said.
     
  5. MissFroggy

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    Sep 26, 2012

    At the youth center I worked at for at-risk youth we always asked due to the high number of LGBTQ homeless youth. In elementary school I never ask. Once in awhile there is a boy or girl at our school that has a questionable gender orientation but since they are generally under 8 years old, we just let them be. For example, we had a boy that wore princess dresses to school or in the dress up area, and a girl who had a shaved head and wore spiderman t-shirts every day. Over the years I have had maybe 2 or 3 second or third graders who have some gender issues. I had a girl in first and second grade who insisted she was an "alien" because she wasn't a boy or girl. Now she is a happy fifth grader, who is a bit of a Tom boy but seems fine with herself and plays with boys and girls.

    So no, I don't ask my students. If I were in a setting with LGBTQ youth, I would.

    I try to be pretty gender neutral and don't divide kids or call on them by gender.
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2012

    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.
     
  8. Myrisophilist

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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. :)
     
  9. greendream

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    Sep 26, 2012

    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.
     
  10. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Sep 26, 2012

    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."
     
  11. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Sep 26, 2012

    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.
     
  12. Ms. I

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

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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.
     
  14. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    That's INCREDIBLY disrespectful.
     
  15. Peregrin5

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    Sep 26, 2012

    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.
     
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