Our expert says:
This is an extremely complex question, actually, and there is very little good research or broad experience as a basis for answering it. I have seen some studies showing that many boys who were effeminate in interests and behaviours when young, still grow into ordinary heterosexual males ; and on the other hand, many kids who grow up to be homosexual are not noticeably different as kids, though some are.
Many ordinary kids experiment with cross-dressing , and boys may temporarily find it intriguing, because girls get the opportunity to wear fancy clothes, makeup, and other paraphenalia, whereas boys get few if an chances to "dress up" and play fantasy roles as boys. When I was younger, it was more usual for boys to have more options, like dressing up as cowboys or indians, or other forms of more masculine fancy-dress, but this seems to have faded out. Similarly, some otherwise entirelyordinary boys might play with dolls, but the availability of Action Figures and more masculine dolls has made this a better alternative for them.
3 is a bit young to start this individually, and I'd guess that the kid of 3 is imitating and going along with the more dominant older kid of 6
Have you discussed this with them ? Maybe best to do this individually rather than together ?
Have you asked them whether they recognize that this isn't usual ( a more useful term here than "normal" ) and that other people might think it odd ? It's not that one wants to force society's expectations on them, but if any child feels they want to be significantly different from others, its as well for them to recognize that others may respond unpleasantly, and at least may tease them.
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