Chelmsford Using Genderbread Person To Teach 11-Year-Olds There Are Infinite Genders

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Gender exists on a spectrum and there are far more than two genders, the curriculum taught to middle schoolers in Chelmsford says.

The Advocacy Unit of the sixth-grade health curriculum at Chelmsford Public Schools uses the genderbread person in its curriculum to teach this claim as fact, as opposed to the common understanding that there are two sexes:  male and female, with typical gender expressions of each sex. Sixth-graders are generally 11 or 12 years old.

The Advocacy Unit is taught at both middle schools in the town:  Parker Middle School and McCarthy Middle School. Both schools serve grades 5 through 8 in Chelmsford, a town of about 36,000 people in Middlesex County about 23 miles northwest of Boston.

The Genderbread person comes up in Lesson 6 of the nine-lesson unit; the Lesson is called “Sexuality & Gender Topics,” according to an email message school officials sent to parents and obtained by NewBostonPost.

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

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

“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.

Chelmsford isn’t the only school district in Massachusetts that uses the genderbread person in its sex-ed curriculum. Mansfield High School uses it to teach its freshmen and juniors, and Hanover Middle School teaches it to its seventh-grade students.

A critic of the genderbread person, Mary Ellen Siegler of the Massachusetts Family Institute, told NewBostonPost that the graphic misinforms children by denying biological reality.

“The genderbread person graphic teaches children that their gender is not determined by their biological sex, but by their subjective feelings,” Siegler said by email. “This lesson is not based on science and confuses children about their identity which sets some students on the path to irreversible transgender treatments causing permanent damage to their young bodies. No child is born in the wrong body. Schools must stop victimizing children. Parents must collectively demand these lessons no longer be taught in school.”

Chelmsford Public Schools superintendent Jay Lang could not be reached for comment on Monday or Tuesday this week; nor could Killerman.

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



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