Photo by David McNew/Getty Images
Artillery Row

Stop confusing kids

Gender theory is damaging our children’s education

A recent Policy Exchange report, which served Freedom of Information requests to over 300 secondary schools, found that 69 per cent practice trans-affirming policies. The report was released as Miriam Cates MP is acting with the mandate of the Prime Minister to investigate explicit sex and relationships lessons in secondary schools. With the exponential rise in trans identification amongst young people, parents and politicians are right to claim ownership over their children’s education. 

40 per cent of schools have gender self-identification policies. 72 per cent teach that biological sex and gender identity are distinct and can conflict. 25 per cent teach the “God got it wrong” doctrine that someone can be born in the wrong body. 

Social affirmation — experienced through everything from teachers to television programmes — encourages children to socially transition to a new name, pronouns and aesthetic presentation. This social contagion has produced a 1,600 per cent increase in Gender Identity Clinic referrals since 2010. Amongst adolescent and autistic girls, that rate is 3,176. Total referrals increase by six per cent annually. One in four school leavers now identify as LGBTQ+, but only 28 per cent of parents are informed. 

It listed the Tavistock Clinic amongst resources for students to consult

Encouragement incentivises the taking of puberty blockers, which can inflict irreversible neurological damage and cause infertility. 98 per cent of these children go on to take cross-sex hormones in adulthood. After the surgeries which follow, according to one study, one in three experiences a somatic morbidity, and one in ten dies. None of this reduces the thirteen-fold risk of suicide accompanying trans-identity. This should surprise nobody: the Dutch Protocol study behind these medical interventions did not assess if puberty blockers resolved gender dysphoria.

This lethal trend is the cause for Cates’ inquiry, endorsed by current and former Cabinet Ministers. Cates has collected examples of inappropriate sex-ed materials, such as one mother in the East Midlands complaining about her thirteen-year-old being told there are a hundred genders

One example I have drawn attention to was Swindon Borough Council, whose sex-ed guidance instructs children to recreate the “reproductive anatomy of people that were assigned the sex of either male or female” — including making penises and “prostate fluid” with vegetables and hand lotion. 

It featured a glossary of “LGBT+ Vocabulary and a diagram of a “Gender Gingerbread Person”. Another page features the “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Power Control Wheel”: contextualising all inter-partner abuse as condoned by a “heterosexist”, homo-and-transphobic society. A “Gender Galaxy” lesson plan stigmatises “only using 2 gender categories” as limiting the “Freedom to be your authentic self” with “Fear”. It states that “Bullying, Threats, Assault, [and] Self-hatred” are inevitable consequences. Another lesson on “Families and Diversity” mentions “co-parenting arrangements between multiple people”, “childfree families” and “families with LGBT+ parents” — but neglects to mention the heterosexual nuclear family.

Many of its citations are infographic cartoons from AMAZE Foundation — a progressive sex and gender identity education organisation, partnered with American abortion provider Planned Parenthood. It cited Stonewall guidance and listed the Tavistock and Portman Clinic amongst resources for students to consult. 

A teacher taught Years 7 and 8 how to masturbate

I received confirmation from another MP’s staffer that the Rt. Hon MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge had watched my coverage, and “thought it was excellent”. Within days of the guidance being passed along to the inquiry as evidence, Swindon Council removed the document from its website

This is not an isolated incident. Another occurred at Queen Elizabeth II High School in Peel, on the Isle of Man, where a drag queen was brought in to teach 11-year-olds that there are seventy-three genders, how to have oral and anal sex, and how phalloplasties create trans-penises. A teacher at the same school taught Years 7 and 8 how to masturbate. A petition with over five-hundred parental signatories was dismissed by the Headmistress as fuelled by misinformation. 

One piece of evidence these inquiries should examine is a paper written by a pioneer of Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) USA, explaining how including drag queens in classrooms can introduce “queer ways of knowing and being into the education of young children”. DQSH encourages drag queens to teach children about “living queerly”. This means using “aesthetic transformation, [and] strategic defiance” to disrupt “the reproductive futurity of the normative classroom and nuclear family”.

For those still insisting any of this is “family friendly”, the aptly-named Hot Mess addresses other drag queens who fear that “DQSH is sanitizing the risqué nature of drag in order to make it ‘family friendly.’” He says DQSH is “family friendly” in the sense that it is “a preparatory introduction to alternate modes of kinship”. The “embodied kinship” Hot Mess has in mind is “an adoptive drag family” with “family” defined as “an old-school queer code to identify and connect with other queers on the street”.

A culture and curriculum infused by gender theory is confusing children, setting many of them on the road to surgical mutilation, suicidal ideation and chemical castration. It is making them antagonistic to their parents and putting them within reach of predators. We should be perturbed when the Biden Administration’s Education Secretary says parents are not the “primary stakeholder” in their children’s education. If not them, then who? 

The Policy Exchange report recommendations do not go far enough. In no circumstance should affirmation or medication be an option for treating adolescent gender dysphoria. If left alone, 85 per cent of gender dysphoric children have symptoms alleviated without interventions. Of those who socially transition, 30 per cent desist within four years. 

Children should not be made to feel self-estranged for the sake of ideology. There is no need to teach kink to kids.

Enjoying The Critic online? It's even better in print

Try five issues of Britain’s newest magazine for £10

Critic magazine cover