from Pam

Dear Helga,

I am a twenty three year old single mother and have two children, a girl of six years and a son of five years. At the moment I am in a dire financial mess and have to find a way of cutting back. As per normal, my children are always growing out of their clothes and I have to find the money to replace them. It has reached the stage where both of them need replacement clothes, and I just cannot afford to buy for both of them. The only way I can see my way clear to addressing the situation is to hand down some of my daughters clothes to my son. I am very worried that this might have a bad psychological effect on my son in the future.

Your website talks about making boys wear girl's clothes, and I was wondering if you could tell me whether this has any long term psychological effect on them? I need to know this before I can make a decision.

Please help.


Thank you for your letter Pam. I am so sorry to hear about your situation and I also understand your concerns about dressing your son in the hand downs. My own feeling is that he is so young I doubt he will even remember this and even if he does his respect for you and understanding of the necessity at the time the psychological effect would likely be positive.

Wearing girl's clothes will not effect his sexual identity. Point of fact Tom Cruise and Earnest Hemingway both occasionally wore girl's clothes as children and during the war, this was quite common as well. Petticoating as punishment can have its place as well though it is usually intended to alter the boys negativity. We wish you the best and hope your situation improves soon.


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Letter 3