1/3 of California Adolescents Identify as ‘Nongender Conforming’

A shocking new study has given more evidence that California operates in an alternate reality from the rest of the world.

The study, conducted by UCLA, showed that a stunning 27 percent of the state’s children aged 12 – 17 identify as “nongender conforming.”

“The data shows that more than one in four California youth express their gender in ways that go against the dominant stereotypes,” Bianca D.M. Wilson, the study’s lead author, said, according to NBC San Diego:

According to the results, 6.2 percent of those who responded consider themselves highly gender nonconforming. More than 20 percent consider themselves androgynous.

Researchers say the study also suggests these children and teenagers may experience higher levels of psychological distress than their peers but do not differ when it comes to rates of lifetime suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.

One of the study’s co-authors suggested the state’s ban on bullying and discrimination against gender nonconforming people in schools and public accommodations may make teenagers feel safer to be gender nonconforming.

The Williams Institute is focused on issues regarding sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.

“The heightened psychological distress we see among gender nonconforming youth indicates that we must continue to educate parents, schools and communities on the mental health needs of these young people and reduce known risk factors, such as bullying and bias,” Wilson said.

But a close look at the questions that were asked of the youths shows that this was more of a study in search of a particular result than it was a study in search of an answer.

The adolescents were asked to answer if they are male of female to start, but the next question was not as cut and dry.

“A person’s appearance, style, dress, or the way they walk or talk may affect how people describe them. How do you think other people at school would describe you?” read the question.

The answers they could select were “very feminine,” “mostly feminine,” “equally feminine & masculine,” “masculine,” or “very masculine.”

The study’s authors categorized males who said they were “very feminine,” “mostly feminine” and females who said they were “masculine,” or “very masculine” as “gender nonconforming.” Those who said they were “equally feminine & masculine” were listed as “androgynous.”

Gender nonconforming refers to people whose behaviors and appearance defy the dominant cultural and societal stereotypes of their gender. The health interview survey measured gender expression by asking adolescents how they thought people at school viewed their physical expressions of femininity and masculinity. Youth who reported that people at school saw them as equally masculine and feminine were categorized as “androgynous.” Girls who thought they were seen as mostly or very masculine and boys who thought they were seen as mostly or very feminine were categorized as “highly gender nonconforming.”

The translation of such questions and categorizations is that the girl who used to be called a “tomboy” in school is now “gender nonconforming.” The boy who dresses meterosexually or does his hair, once called a “pretty boy” is now “gender nonconforming.” These questions would also rank gay and lesbian kids who act and dress non traditionally as “gender nonconforming” even if, as is the case with the majority of gay and lesbian people, they are comfortable in their gender of birth.

“It’s possible California’s policy environment has made it safer for adolescents to be gender-nonconforming,” Tara Becker, a co-author of the study, said. “But given events at the national level, we should by no means relax our stance. California can and should strive to be an ongoing model of acceptance and inclusion.”

Inclusion and acceptance of people for who they are is a fantastic thing. Pushing people into categories they don’t belong to in order to push your political agenda is not.