Perceptual Narrowing and Culturally Mandated Emotional Crippling of Children


During early childhood, our brains are sensitive to a broad array of stimuli and amenable to adopting a wide variety of cognitions and beliefs. As children develop, these perceptual abilities are narrowed through a neurological process called synaptic pruning. Infants’ neurons are all wired together in a redundant manner, but as a child matures many of these connections are abandoned. The initial redundancy in the brain allows the infant to respond to any environment, while the subsequent specificity allows the child to respond best to the particular environment into which it was born. While aiding learning, this process also results in the loss of ability to make certain observations that would have been possible in another environment.

An example of perceptual narrowing occurs in language acquisition. Any infant is capable of learning any language in the world if immersed in that culture from birth. However, after the first year of life, the ability to distinguish between some phonemes of foreign languages will be completely and irrevocably lost. It’s not that they can’t understand the language. They physically cannot hear the relevant sounds, at all.

Language itself can also determine the phenomena which we are able to observe. For example, some languages do not have a word to distinguish the color blue from the color green. Monolingual speakers of these languages simply cannot see the color blue.

Assigning children to gender castes also functions to narrow our perceptions. Immediately after birth, children are drowned under gendered stimuli. “Boys” are fitted with blue goggles, and “girls” are fitted with pink goggles, and what they can see is drastically shaped by the lenses they are given. Experiments show adults’ interactions with newborns change dramatically when they (erroneously) believe a baby to be a boy or a girl.

While it’s true in general that the pink goggles are more harmful to the child’s well-being than the blue goggles, in all cases the perceptual manipulation stunts the development of every child. The children suppress their own senses of themselves in order to fit into the molds they were given and earn the false, narcissistic “love” of their parents, teachers, and peers. The degree to which this process harms the child varies depending on individual circumstances but it is never a good thing. Sometimes people need to try on the goggles given to the “opposite” sex as an adult to heal the damage their psyches sustained as a child. Unfortunately, few are afforded the opportunity to see the entire spectrum of humanity as it is.

Nearly all of even the most egalitarian parents, who agree that gender is harmful, still gender their children. Why? As an anarcha-feminist, I believe they do so because they fear the ever-present threat of violence which protects vested power interests in our self-policing, panopticonic society. Parents know that gender non-conforming children will be bullied and so they rarely allow them to develop (or not develop) a gender identity on their own. This threat of violence is just one of many the ruling class uses to dominate the masses into servile obedience. The value of the perceptual narrowing of gender to the ruling class is like the value of blinders to a horse-driver. With the blinders on, the horse is less likely to step out of line, and use of the whip becomes necessary less often.

Without fail it seems parents who refrain from assigning their children a gender, like Pop, Storm, and Sasha, are accused of insanity or child abuse. I would guess these accusations come from people who think striking your children and inflicting physical pain is just “discipline” and that slicing off part of your child’s genitalia is simply “hygiene.” It’s assigning your child to a gender that is child abuse. Our culture is just too out of touch with reality for many people to see it. I wish I’d seen it before I’d had a child.


3 thoughts on “Perceptual Narrowing and Culturally Mandated Emotional Crippling of Children

  1. caitmccu January 7, 2015 / 12:44 am

    I agree that children should be able to identify with whatever parts of the other gender that they choose! it bothers me to no end when a boy has a doll slapped out of his hands because it’s “feminine”, as if that’s a bad thing. I’ve haven’t heard a lot of people not assigning a gender to their child, but I think the idea is interesting, and somewhat inspired.


  2. pasunhomme January 7, 2015 / 12:48 am

    The problem is that the child does not need the doll slapped out of nir hands. The child learns to hate nemself for wanting the doll, even if permitted to have it.


Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s