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Children who act like opposite sex at greater risk of PTSD

NASW Michigan Executive Director Maxine Thome. Photo courtesy of chapter web site.

Parents should not force children who act like the opposite sex to change their behavior because they could traumatize their offspring, National Association of Social Workers Michigan Chapter Executive Director Maxine Thome said.

“Systems need to be structured in a way to help that child or individual continue to identify as they wish to identify, but to protect them and to educate those around them,” Thome said in this radio and print interview with Public News Service.

A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics that was cited in the Public News Service report shows boys who act like girls and girls who act like boys are at higher risk of abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, no matter whether they are homosexual or heterosexual.

In fact, the rate of post traumatic stress disorder is twice as high among adults who said as children they did not conform to traditional gender roles.

Thome, PhD, LMSW, ACSW, MPH, counsels young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. She said more education and legislation such as anti-bullying laws are needed to protect such children.

Social workers are committed to helping children and teenagers overcome life’s hurdles. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Kids Families Website by clicking here. Social workers are also committed to social justice for all, including LGBT people To learn more click here.

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