Feral Children and “gender”

So I’ve been searching everywhere to find evidence that feral children are gendered at all. Does anyone else have research on this?

I’ve read a few brief case studies on feral children. Interestingly – most of the feral boys found were indifferent to sex. Isn’t that interesting? So this instinct to reproduce? Is it social socialized, instincutal?

http://listverse.com/2008/03/07/10-modern-cases-of-feral-children/

These are some of the others I’ve been looking at…

It’s just interesting to me that when children are raised by dogs – they assume dog behavior – if raised by other primates – they assume that behavior. The most interesting to me is the boy that lived among gazelles. I think that these studies on feral children place emphasis on early childhood brain development – something transexuals wish to ignore these days… sigh

If gender is truly genetic – wouldn’t these children express it on some level – rather than just expressing the behavior of the animals they have lived with???

So what led me here? Well – someone was saying that in places where gender is not pimped out to people – gender is still expressed. However – I don’t think there is ONE society where gender is not associated with biological sex. Even in matriarchies – there are gender roles. I was trying to think of ANY context where people might not be exposed to gender standards – and this feral situation was the only thing I could sort of think of…. And I think I’m right. These children have not been socialized with gender – and they don’t seem to express gender – EVEN when they were raised by other animals that probably have gendered social structures.

After thinking about this in terms of feral children – I’m almost convinced that the “science” and brain scans trying to “prove” that gender is inherent to brain structure – are totally missing the point on how childhood brain development is a key element in all of this.

Tags: ,

19 Responses to “Feral Children and “gender””

  1. nuclearnight Says:

    Whoa, excellent observation. I watched some documentaries on youtube about feral children a few months back and there really didn’t seem to be any gender specific behavior in any of the children. The girls are especially hard to “tame” as it were.

  2. dedgurlcingztheblooze Says:

    This is quite interesting, and I’ve ironically been thinking about this same subject, lol. I had a few questions. When you say many of the boys found are indifferent to sex, do you mean sex as in male/female/intersex, or do you mean intercourse? I am guessing the later, but wanted to check. Also, if you find any info on gender in regards to feral children I would definitely like to know more. I am interested to know, in the case of the animals with sex/gender categories (Like lionesses hunt, lions just lye about) how the children are socialized, and if this has anything to do with the animals not knowing what sex they are…. or is anything of this making sense. I have a bunch of questions fighting to get out at once.

    • truthvscompliance Says:

      Yeah, I was actually surprised that the feral chidlren don’t exhibit more gendered behavior in terms of the bears or lions etc… I think the article referred to intercourse… but now I’m not even sure, lol.

  3. alexthesane Says:

    First of all, a good chunk of “raised by animals”-type feral children are/were hoaxes.

    After weeding out those, disinterest in sex can be easily explained by imprinting. Other animals who are raised by other species they tend to lose interest in reproducing, which is why zoologists raising endangered birds like condors will use puppets to feed them.

    As for figuring out how exactly those children identify or have been socialized regarding gender, good luck because most feral children have severe linguistic disabilities as a result of having missed the critical period for language learning.

    I’ve been inundated with feral children stuff due to the work done with them in linguistics (my field of study), and quite frankly I’m highly suspicious of anyone who seeks to prove their pet theories, whether linguistic or social, with what is essentially child abuse and abandonment. Not to seem rude, but it really irks me whenever I see someone using feral children in an argument for anything. You could probably find something a little less horrible to disprove those horribly unscientific brain scans you don’t like so much.

  4. Discrimination and gender | twanzphobic since forever Says:

    […] of surgical or chemical alteration. And yes, all these so-called gender preferences are bullshit, feral children do not follow this love of pink or blue […]

  5. Undercover Punk Says:

    Wait a minute, wait a minute! I can’t find an email address for you, so this is going in a comment. Or you can edit/trash this and just email me in response.

    I agree with you, wholeheartedly! I read your blog every time you post. But…aren’t you a trans-supporter? You remember our previous disagreement about internalized biases and brain erasure, right? I got in Trans-Trouble. I was a transphobic asshole who needed to be schooled? I don’t understand. In my wildest dreams I am observing your political evolution towards the logic of radical feminism.

    Gender is a SOCIAL phenomenon. I explained it previously as such:

    Identity is, by definition, SOCIAL in nature.

    IDENTITY is constructed by reference to our RELATIONSHIPS with other beings.

    If you don’t believe me, ask yourself this: if you are alone in the woods, does it really matter what pronoun you’re using? NO! Because no one is talking to you! Or about you. Hermits have no use for “identities,” k? Thx.

    It is only in relation to the external world that we need to describe ourselves. The purpose of NAMING (read: language) is express ideas TO other people.

    We explore and claim “identities” specifically in order to express and highlight similarities or differences between multiple individuals.

    Feral children do not have “gender.” It is conclusive evidence that gender is a CONSTRUCT, not some kind of neuro-biological inevitability as claimed by trans. See also the desire to project trans-sexualism onto CHILDREN who do not properly conform to gender constructs. It’s not, “you’re OK just as you are;” it’s “you’re messed up and we need to fix you!”

    • truthvscompliance Says:

      Wow, I’m really confused. I don’t remember accusing you of being a transphobe… Is someone impersonating me? Did I black out? haha, wtf? I mean, my views on transexuals etc have changed A LITTLE but ever since I was like 15 I’ve really questioned gender and have always held the belief it is socially constructed…

      • Undercover Punk Says:

        Hi TvC, thank you for your response. Maybe I am mistaken–it has happened before! Please accept my apologies. Now I will be commenting more, though. 🙂 Despite the somewhat questionable evidence about feral children, as alex notes above, I still think it’s an interesting discussion. Even as a purely hypothetical situation. Thanks for the post!

      • truthvscompliance Says:

        No problem!

  6. FAB Libber Says:

    Thanks for raising this point (feral children), it serves as a good reminder of how much gender-junk is foisted onto children.

  7. FAB Libber Says:

    I might add that I don’t agree with some of your conclusions though, somewhat contradictory.

    I don’t think there is ONE society where gender is not associated with biological sex.

    ‘Gender’ roles differ from society to society, and from time period to time period. You cannot automatically conflate differing sex roles within a society ‘as gender’, some of those occupations are divided up for whatever convenience, and they are not ‘gender’ or proof of ‘gender’. You also need to separate out roles or occupations from characteristics and not lump them in together, and this may be where the confusion is arising.

    ‘Gender’ is based on (arbitrarily assigned) characteristics that are transferred into ‘gender’ roles (or acceptable behaviours) for the biological sex they are ASSIGNED to.

  8. Undercover Punk Says:

    FAB, that’s interesting. Good point! Yes, animals have sex roles. Kind of like occupations: hunting versus gathering, etc. Or the penguins– think of March of the Penguins!!!

    But GENDER is a human construct. Gender is about *characteristics* assigned arbitrarily according to sex (for the PURPOSE of male domination/gain, I might add, not for funsies). These are called “masculinity” and “femininity.” They are NOT real or natural. Gender is also designed to justify deliberate exaggeration of visible differences between the sexes. Animals do not do this.

    • FAB Libber Says:

      I do see TvC struggling a little to understand it (but that’s ok, it does take quite a while to understand it) and one day it goes *click* in your head and falls into place. And sometimes it is just a matter of *unlearning* what you already know (or think you know) about gender roles, or what is natural, what is not.

      I actually spent quite a bit of time reading about gender and the tranz theories before I wrote or commented greatly. My problem now is transmitting that understanding more clearly, because sometimes I get a bit rambly, and you also have to be fairly careful with phrases and terms.

  9. Noanodyne Says:

    But male scientists have worked mightily to impose gender meanings on animal behavior (and would of course do so on feral children as well). As I said in a recent post, the very recently-made BBC documentary Planet Earth is full of all kinds of that nonsense. That very unscientific behavior led to decades of misreading what animals were doing and why. It’s a very good lesson and warning about just how attached humans are to gender constructs. And how badly they mislead us.

    • FAB Libber Says:

      Yes indeed, a lot of anthropomorphising goes on, ‘gender role’ projections especially.

      I always chuckle that males find the male lion such an idol and symbol. The male lion does fuck-all and just lies about all day. Human males obviously want this lifestyle (as well as having the harem set-up).

  10. joy Says:

    Re, gendered behavior in animals: Has anyone else ever heard of the gay penguins?

    I googled it and found two instances of gay penguins.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2009/06/gay-penguin-dads-in-german-zoo-hatch-chick.html

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-02-07/news/17414549_1_bruce-bagemihl-homosexual-gay-penguins

    Of course, there is a lot of fail in the articles (“they behave just as a heterosexual couple would” — what does that mean? what I think it means?) — but ultimately, the point is, animals don’t always follow distinct sex (“gender”) roles either. Gender is/sex roles are not innate. Shit, gender is not even a real thing that actually exists.

    • FAB Libber Says:

      Different animal species (particularly within all-male groups) have been observed with homosexual behaviour (which really only means that some male animals, like human males, will fuck anything that is around). The only way for certain to ‘know’ if these animals have a homosexual preference is if there are females of the species about, and if they still prefer to have sex with the males etc.

      • joy Says:

        Sorry for the late reply.

        Who knows if there are gay and lesbian penguins in the wild. I don’t think studies have been done, but I could be wrong.
        There have been several homosexual penguin pairings (mostly male-male) in zoos, where all the penguins are kept together regardless of sex. So they do all have exposure to “hetero” penguins.
        Maybe it’s just that the two gay penguins are always the odd ones out and can’t find other mates — but I still don’t understand why that would make them emulate “hetero” penguin couples when it comes to their behavior.

        I guess my ultimate point is: we don’t really know what represents sex-specific behavior and what doesn’t.

        Also, I’m a gender-questioner and ‘transphobe,’ so I’m on the radfem side (I suppose you could say). Maybe that wasn’t clear, and if so, I’m sorry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: