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"How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay" by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

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on 26 November 2014

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Transcript of "How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay" by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick


Definitions
Effeminate: “describes traits in a human male that are more often associated with feminine nature, behaviour, mannerisms, style or gender roles rather than masculine nature, behaviour, mannerisms, style or roles.”
DSM: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is, according to psychiatry.org, “the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States. It is intended to be applicable in a wide array of contexts and used by clinicians and researchers of many different orientations (e.g., biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, family/systems).”
Core Gender Identity- your basal sense of being male or female
Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood: “a conflict between a person's physical gender and the gender he or she identifies as. For example, a person identified as a boy may actually feel and act like a girl. The person is very uncomfortable with the gender they were born.”
Eve Kosofysky Sedgwick
May 2, 1950 – April 12, 2009
American academic scholar in the fields of gender studies, queer theory (queer studies), and critical theory
Helped created the field of queer studies
Work is highly influenced by the work of Michel Foucault
Insisted on the critical analysis of modern homo/heterosexual definition
She coined the terms "homosocial" and "antihomophobic."
Sedgwick's Argument
She argues that while many people now allegedly adopt a more tolerant attitude towards existent gays, they object to the development of homosexuality among kids and adolescents, which impedes the wish for a world in which gays do not exist. On the contrary, institutions more frequently take efforts to turn these kids away from homosexuality, rather than facilitating their development.
History of homosexuality in psychology
DSM 3: removal of "homosexuality" and inclusion of Gender Identity Disorder (pg. 71)
"The healthy homosexual is a) one who is already grown up and b) acts masculine" (pg 71)
"...Given that egosyntonic consolidation for a boy can come only in the form of masculinity..." (pg 75)
Sedgwick's Critique on Richard Green
French Psychiatrist - "The Sissy Boy Syndrome"
Praises the work of psychiatrists
Encourages predominately gay men to "reassure" their parents that they are bisexual BUT NOT GAY
Therapy as method to reduce childhood conflict and social stigma
Parenting as a "long establishing" principle
Effeminate boys will "grow up to be homosexual
Critique on gay movements
"Even outside of the mental health professions and within more authentically gay-affirmative discourses, the theoretical support for supporting gay development is...narrow" (Sedgwick, 78).
gay rights have been to slow in taking up the cause of effeminate boys and masculine girls (potential future gay men and women)
"Effeminophobia"
"How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay" by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

Presented by Miriam Vega and Sofia Espinoza
To what extent can parents intervene in the development of their child's sexual identity? Are they truly the "long establishing principle"?
Discussion Question #2
J. Crew Ad
How does it relate to other readings?
Discussion Question #1
Why do you think that the literature and focus on this subject is "exclusively about boys"? What does this say about our culture and our ideas on masculinity vs femininity?
Effeminate men and psychology according to Friedman

Masculinity as Prison, Russel Robinson
K6G Unit Screening Test
Figuring out the unknown
"What a gay should look like"
the role of the bisexual
Michel Foucault
the influencing of parenting on children's development
sex & gender are strictly biological
According to Friedman, "effeminate boys turn out gay... [because] other men don't validate them as masculine (pg 74)
More "gender disturbed" young men are growing up to be "healthy, masculine" men because there has been an "increased flexibility in what attributes/activities can be processed as masculine" (pg 74)
Why then, Friedman asks, are gay adult men so resilient about how they survive given their childhoods and lack of "masculine self regard"?
Friedman believes that the most important developmental task of a male child or his parents and caretakers is to get a proper male Core Gender Identity in place
Full transcript