Five-year-olds in Scotland will be told in classrooms that their gender is "what you decide," according to draft educational guidelines set to be implemented next year in Scottish public schools.
The guidelines were created by the National Health Service, Education Scotland — the state education agency — and the government, The Scotsman reported. The guidelines also further the notion that a medical professional "assigns" the sex of babies at the time of birth.
"Your sex is what you are told by a doctor when you are born. Most people are told they are a male child (a boy) or a female child (a girl)," the guidelines read.
"People might think they know your gender because of the clothes you wear or the things you like to do. You are a unique person, you know who you are."
Yet some government officials say this is a confusing message to send to young children and regard telling them something like this as inappropriate for their age.
"It's right that we teach children about gender diversity and the meaning of these terms. However, many parents might feel this is too young for their children to learn about it," said education spokeswoman Liz Smith, who is a Conservative member of the Scottish parliament.
Indeed some parents do feel that way, and believe the lessons to be harmful to the developing minds and bodies of kids and rooted in sexism.
"We believe passionately that sex stereotypes and gendered expectations are pernicious and harmful," said a Scottish mother who has attended trainings by Scottish transgender advocates related to her work within the National Health Service. She spoke with The Christian Post Monday on condition of anonymity.
"Unfortunately, the positive nature of this guidance is rendered meaningless by the muddled advice that children can decide if they are a boy or a girl," she explained, stressing that the curriculum effectively reinforces rigid ideas of masculine and feminine traits.
"Equally dangerous is the notion that sex rather than preferences or behavior is fluid. Young children are very literal-minded and if encouraged to believe that the physical reality of their body is mutable it could set up potentially devastating struggles with mental or physical health."
Informed sources added that these newly created guidance have come so quickly that they are finding themselves at a disadvantage having to react to decisions that were made without first consulting the wider community of parents. Parents are reportedly continuing to try to find out which other organizations are involved with crafting these new guidelines.
In Scotland, record numbers of children are being referred for treatment for gender dysphoria — as many as 222 in 2017, according to The Christian Institute, which marks a 21 percent increase from 2016. Reports indicate that children as young as six years old have been referred.
The average age of those being referred has also fallen from 15 years in 2014 to under 14 in 2017, the Institute found.
Across the U.K., schools are reportedly functioning "within minutes" to register a child as the opposite sex if the child so wants.
"If a school just gets a whisper of a child who may be querying their gender and within minutes they are doing everything to make sure that child is regarded as a member of the opposite sex right from the word go — that may not be the best for that child," said Bernadette Wren, a consultant clinical psychologist at the Gender Identity Development Service clinic in London, earlier this year.