Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
A new study in the journal Pediatrics found that children who don't conform to typical gender roles (i.e. boys who act like girls or girls who act like boys) have a higher risk of suffering abuse than other children.
This wasn't a surprise to many CNN.com readers, including this guest, who said "I don't think it takes multiple Ph.D.'s and M.D.'s to figure this out. 'If you're not like the rest of us, we'll beat you up.' We learned that in elementary school."
The article sparked some interesting discussions on gender, parenting and society's expectations for boys and girls.
JackiMaddie: "I would love and support my child no matter what, and I hope other people feel the same way. Just do the best you can as a parent to instill your values in your child, but if the child follows a different path, you should still be there for him/her. That being said, I am so relieved my daughter obviously doesn't have this problem."
But MindLikeWarp said you can't support everything your child does.
"Pretty soon we are going to say it isÂ OK to be racist, because that is just who you are. I think parents have a responsibility to teach their children how to be able to function decently in society. I think parents should teach boys to be boys and girls to be girls. I know that isn't the PC thing to say, but you shouldn't just let kids do whatever they want. They need boundaries and rules. Society has them."
Readers also debated whether doctors were turning normal childhood behavior into a disorder.
"Seriously? I was a tomboy when I was younger. I'm not boyish anymore. I was normal then and normal now. Why is everyone making such a big deal about this? Kids like to experiment. Some kids like to play outside and get dirty, some kids like to play with dolls, some kids like blue and some kids like pink. Stop trying to paint kids as transgender!! They are just trying to grow up and understand the world. The boys in my neighborhood used to come over and we would play dress up with my dresses. It was FUN. Calm down and let kids be kids!"
Michael J. Creamer Jr.:
"In fairness, it's the children who are painting themselves to be transgender. If you read the article carefully, you will see that they are talking about issues a little more substantial than a girl playing baseball and a boy playing with a Barbie doll."
"I really hope they don't start to think that girls that like sports now have a psychological disorder. When I was a kid I loved to play with Barbies, dress up, but I also loved to go outside and play sports and play video games. I think it is healthy for kids to show typical signs of both genders. Most of my friends went through a "tomboy" phase. And from what I know, all of us are straight women. If a girl wants to play sports or a boy wants to be a dancer, let him, don't just assume he/she is gay. Gender roles are created by society.
In short, let kids be kids and have fun."
Other readers argued that sexuality and gender are separate issues.
"You people are missing the point. This is not about being homosexual. It's about how parents are STILL trying to stereotype their kids by gender – 'girls are supposed to wear pink dresses with bows in their hair, and play with dolls. Boys are supposed to wear jeans and play with trucks.' The parents get upset if the kids don't adhere to these stereotypes. It has nothing to do with sexuality."
blueduck13 said people can't be forced to accept someone who doesn't conform to gender roles.
"Personally, I could care less, but while everyone has freedom of choice, they also have consequences. If you have a Mohawk, some people might stare."
But AucausinÂ says it's much different from a haircut:
"Unless you have gender dysphoria it can be hard to understand. Imagine tomorrow you wake up as the opposite sex, all your friends and family have forgotten that you were ever different and now believe that you were always the opposite sex. You go to dress for the day and your wardrobe has been replaced with clothes indicative of your new sex. You must wear these clothes with your new body. You go to breakfast then school or work and everyone you know sees you as male or female even though you feel like something different. This doesn't seem like much in text, but it is hell."
What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on videoÂ via CNN iReport.
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.