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Woman Fools Everyone Into Thinking Her Daughter Is a Boy -- Including the Dad

by Sasha Brown-Worsham on November 28, 2012 at 3:55 PM

baby girlIn a heartbreaking story out of Brazil, a young mom chose to raise her little girl as a boy for two years, even lying to the girl's father, so that she could avoid the abuse that she suffered as a young girl happening to her daughter as well. I am not sure which part is sadder -- that she was able to get away with it (no one changed a SINGLE diaper besides her??) or that she felt she had to.

This is the kind of thing that horror movie writers go crazy for. There was a campy 1980s horror movie called Sleepaway Camp where the psycho killer was murdered because he was forced to live as a girl. It was creepy and disturbing. But this isn't a horror movie. This is real life, and while I can't imagine living as the other gender would really cause such distress, I am guessing that being raised by a mom who felt that victimized might.

As parents, we have a responsibility to deal with our own issues and not let them project onto our kids. Let this story be a lesson in that.

As a mom of both a boy and a girl, I am often privy to the many gender stereotypes that make up our lives and the ways that we project our own worries and fears onto our little ones just because of their gender.

Men worry their sons won't be good at sports. Moms worry their daughters won't like shopping. And vice versa. Oh yes, it goes round and round. But guess what? Our children are not us. And they are not defined by their gender. They are who they are.

A boy can get abused just as easily as a girl and a boy can be vulnerable and cry and be into art just as a girl can be into science and want to build skyscrapers and wear overalls. It's all OK. Changing a child's gender or confusing them about what is expected of them doesn't help anyone.

My heart goes out to this poor mom who thought she had to do this. She didn't. There are other ways to protect our kids and to be vigilant. My guess is she felt her options were very limited. She did what she could to protect her daughter. And the only thing she could do? Was to make her a boy.

It's so sad.

Do you ever worry about your daughter because she is a girl?


Image via handmaidenbymaria/Flickr

Filed Under: girls, a mom's life, boys


  • MomLi...


    November 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    We should worry about them as people not male or female.

  • dirti...


    November 28, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    well said, @momLily.

  • Crystal
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 29, 2012 at 10:11 AM
    I have 2 boys an 2 girls an a girl on the way an I worry about all of them the same cuz bad things can happen to boys just as much as it can girls
  • Robin...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Robin Palmeter

    November 29, 2012 at 10:12 AM
    no i do not, boy or girl they should be loved the same..and we should not fear ,they are who they are , and should be treated as we would want to be treated.. a true parent will love a child no matter what or who they are and become....
  • Ashle...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Ashley Griffin

    November 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    She is only two...I'm sure there wasn't too much confusion...Besides calling her a sweet little boy!! Kids are super smart and sponges. Now, if this child thought she was a boy for 10 years...oh boy! The child is 2, they are just figuring out their special spots, like typical 2 year olds. Mom did what she thought was best. *shrugs* Is the child happy? Is the child healthy? Safe? 

  • Robin...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Robin Palmeter

    November 29, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    i am a mother of 2 boys and 1 girl and i love them all the same.. 

  • Charl...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Charli Rahe

    November 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    I agree with everyone's sentiments, at two though, my daughter knows she is a girl and her brothers are boys. It's obvious in the things they go to first to play with, she likes stuffed toys and having picnics while my boys are a year old and they play with anything that has wheels or they can throw even though there is an array of girl toys. I don't think this caused any permanent damage and mothers will do whatever necessary (and healthy for all) to keep there kids safe. Who did this woman have a child with that she couldn't trust him? That part is the weirdest of all to me. He never gave his daughter a bath? Changed a diaper? CHanged her clothes? Craziness.

  • cheri
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM
    I don't think it was a matter of which gender was loved more by this mother who felt she had to do this. It's because she loved her daughter, she felt she had to pretend she was a boy so she wouldn't be abused. The thing people aren't thinking about is obviously this mother is in such a situation that she can't leave and felt that her daughter would be in danger if she didn't do this. It's not a matter of protecting one gender than the other either and it's not a blanket question that applies to everyone. It was this one mother in this one situation who felt she had to do this. I guarantee if there wasn't someone involved in her life that she felt she had to protect her daughter from, she wouldn't have to have done this. People need to open their minds up and realize, this poor mother did what she had to to protect her daughter.
  • Michelle
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 29, 2012 at 10:34 AM
    What mother worries her daughter won't like shopping? I seriously hope that was a joke.
  • Emily...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Emily Marie Martin

    November 29, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I don't worry for my daughter because i know she is MY daughter, my clone. I am a very strong willed person and my daughter is the same way, thats one of her thousands of qualities about her that i just adore. I don't let people take advantage of me and I'm hoping that my daughter will take that and keep that close to her heart. 

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