By Kathleen Gibert

OMAHA, Nebraska, May 20, 2009 ( – A Catholic school has turned down re-admittance of an eight-year-old boy whose mother has granted the child’s requests to be dressed and treated as a girl.

Rather than continue to attend St. Wenceslaus Catholic school, where the child dressed in a boy’s uniform in previous years, the boy will now attend a public school in girl’s clothes.

“She’s been a girl since the beginning, everything about her, the way she dances and skips around and the things she’s attracted to. It’s more than toys and clothes,” the mother told a local news station.

“The child is welcomed to come, but it would not be acceptable to change the child’s gender and present as a girl,” said archdiocesan chancellor Father Joseph Taphorn.

According to Catholic anthropology, which considers a person’s gender an objective physical reality, individuals with Gender Identity Disorder (GID) achieve healing by working to overcome deep-seated mental aversion to their genetically-determined gender. 

This runs contrary to modern mainstream ideology, which posits gender as subject to personal interpretation or choice.  Thus, in recent years many in the psychiatric community have begun encouraging gender perceptions with superficial alterations such as cross-dressing, hormone therapy, and cosmetic surgery.

However, several experts continue to assert that the phenomenon stems from a disorder essentially mental in nature, and therefore ill-served by physical accommodation.

In a 2001 article, Dr. Richard P. Fitzgibbons, a medical doctor with the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), pointed out that young boys (who are more susceptible to GID than girls) do not act like normal girls the same age, but imitate adult women.  This, he says, indicates an inordinate aversion to their own sex, rather than a genuine identification with girlhood.

“These troubled children reject certain types of play and clothing precisely because it is associated with their own gender, and they adopt activities because they are associated in their mind with the opposite sex,” he wrote. 

The solution, he says, is helping children appreciate their own gender.  “Children need to feel good about their gender identity,” Fitzgibbons said.  “He needs to feel good about being a boy and becoming a man.”

Fitzgibbons pointed to studies that showed GID can be fully resolved with early therapy aimed at directing the child to appreciate his gender.

“Given the positive results of early intervention, the profound unhappiness of these children during elementary school, and the massive problems which accompany same-sex attraction in adolescence, parents should do everything possible to help their child resolve even minor gender identity problems,” he wrote.

(To read Dr. Fitzgibbons’ article in full on NARTH’s website:

See related coverage:

Doctors Urge Puberty Blockers for Children Considering Sex Change

Catholic Hospital Sued for Refusing Breast Surgery to Make Man Look Like A Woman


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