A DOCTOR south of Brisbane [Australia] has warned that by avoiding gender specific words, we could be doing children more harm than good.
Thomas Lyons has been a GP for 19 years and has worked at Eagleby Medical Centre since 2004.
During the school holidays, Dr Lyons said he observed “utter anxiety” during a routine eye test when young patients were asked to identify whether images on his vision chart were of a boy or a girl.
“The chart has pictures of teacups and animals but when it got to the picture of the boy and girl, four out of five children said ‘person’,” he said.
“Two of the girls exhibited features of anxiety, hand wringing, frowning … and one said in a frantic voice that she couldn’t use those words.”
The patients were aged between six and eight. Dr Lyons said when he pressed on girl further, she replied she could not say those words because her teacher would “get angry”.
They said that gender specific language is not discouraged in Queensland states schools and programs like Respectful Relationships Education Program assisted students to learn about relationships and gender roles.
Dr Lyons said he believes the State Government should conduct an audit to determine if more children are suffering anxiety from what he called “shrinking language”.
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[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Danielle Buckley, Albert & Logan News and originally published at The Courier News. Title changed by P&P.]
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