Hanover Using Genderbread Person To Teach 12-Year-Olds There Are Unlimited Genders

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2022/03/15/hanover-using-genderbread-person-to-teach-12-year-olds-there-are-unlimited-genders/

How many genders are there?

If you said two, then you’d get the answer wrong at Hanover Middle School.

The district’s sex-ed curriculum for seventh- and eighth-graders presents gender using the genderbread person in its curriculum, as the school disclosed to NewBostonPost as the result of a public records request. Most seventh-graders are 12 or 13 years old.

The genderbread person is a graphic that says gender identity exists on a spectrum; it tells students that they can pick their gender. Additionally, it refers to biological sex the “sex assigned at birth.”

The graphic’s artist, Sam Killermann, explains the graphic’s purpose on the genderbread.org web site. Killermann writes that the genderbread person exists to show that there aren’t just two genders, but rather an unlimited number.

“The schema used here to map out gender (the ‘-ness’ model) allows individuals to plot where they identify along both continua to represent varying degrees of alignment with the traditional binary elements of each aspect of gender, resulting in infinite possibilities of ‘gender’ for a person,” Killermann wrote.

Hanover isn’t the only school district that uses the genderbread person in its sex-ed curriculum either. Mansfield High School uses it to its freshmen and juniors.  

Mary Ellen Siegler of the Massachusetts Family Institute told NewBostonPost in an email message that the genderbread person is confusing for children and denies biological reality:

Schools must stop teaching unscientific and harmful transgender ideology to young impressionable students. Graphics like the genderbread person are intended to change the way students think about objective truth and reality. These lessons encourage gender confusion and set youth up for grave emotional, mental, and physical harm. They also foster the social contagion associated with the transgender trend. One study showed that if a teen announces a transgender identity, 3.5 friends within their same peer group also adopts a transgender identity. These same students often go on to seek transgender medical interventions that cause irreparable damage to their bodies. Schools officials need to do some deep soul searching and think about the damage they are facilitating by approving of these lessons. At some point, a superintendent, a principal, a teacher, a school nurse condoning these lessons must face the fact that they are allowing the victimization of children in their care.


Hanover Public Schools superintendent Matthew Ferron defended the school district’s use of the genderbread person in an email message to NewBostonPost. Here is what he said:


The “genderbread person” visual is a teaching tool for helping students understand the definitions of sex and gender within the 8th grade reproductive anatomy lesson, with “sex” regarding a person’s anatomy and “gender” being how one thinks, feels, and expresses themselves. 

According to DESE (https://www.doe.mass.edu/sfs/lgbtq/GenderIdentity.html), understanding the terminology associated with gender identity is important to providing a safe and supportive school environment for students whose rights are protected under the law …The term ‘gender identity’ is specifically defined in the Mass. General Laws, as amended by An Act Relative to Gender Identity (the gender identity law).

Hanover Middle School Health Education has been taught for the past 19 years by Michelle Ireland, an experienced teacher who holds a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) credential, and obtained her Masters Degree in Health Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.  She has participated in professional development with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Safe Schools Program.


Killermann could not be reached for comment over the weekend or on Monday this week.

The genderbread person is uncopyrighted and is free for school districts to use. Here is what it looks like:



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