UK Dept. of Ed. issues guidance against 'born in the wrong body' gender lessons in sex-ed

Reuters/Darren Staples
Reuters/Darren Staples

The U.K. Department of Education released an updated guidance advising schools not to teach trans-ideology in sex-education such as telling children they "born in the wrong body."

Published Thursday, the new government guidelines instruct educators not to "reinforce harmful stereotypes" or promote the idea that children might be the opposite sex based on their choice of clothing or personality.

With respect to sex education curricula, the guidance adds that schools should not collaborate with organizations that push the view that "non-conformity to gender stereotypes should be seen as synonymous with having a different gender identity."

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"We are aware that topics involving gender and biological sex can be complex and sensitive matters to navigate," the guidance reads.

"You should not reinforce harmful stereotypes, for instance by suggesting that children might be a different gender based on their personality and interests or the clothes they prefer to wear."

"When teaching about these topics, it must be recognized that young people may be discovering or understanding their sexual orientation or gender identity."

The guidance took aim the prevailing narrative that some children are in the wrong body.

"While teachers should not suggest to a child that their non-compliance with gender stereotypes means that either their personality or their body is wrong and in need of changing, teachers should always seek to treat individual students with sympathy and support," the guidance said.

The Department of Education's guidance counters trans-activist groups such as Mermaids, which previously pushed its ideology in schools across the U.K. via educator training sessions.

In response to the new guidance, Mermaids posted a message on Twitter that suggested it now agrees that no one is born in the wrong body and said in a longer statement that a particular slide used as part of its training sessions showing that gender exists on a spectrum was a "tongue-in-cheek" joke and "knowingly-over-simplified look at various gender expressions."

The child of Mermaids CEO Susie Green, a biological male whose genitals were amputated in Thailand at age 16, previously said his distinctly male anatomy was a "birth defect."

Some feminists and other critics of "gender identity" ideology have long contended that the entire claim of a self-defined gendered identity that is apart from one's biological sex is based on a culturally subjective set of sex-based stereotypes and that teaching children these ideas is damaging and confusing, particularly those who are gender-non-conforming.

The latest shift comes amid other moves resisting the efforts of proponents of gender ideology, particularly the recent announcement from U.K. Equalities minister Liz Truss that the proposed revisions to the Gender Recognition Act to allow individuals to self-identify their sex on legal documents without a formal medical diagnosis would be scrapped.

Gender ideology has also come under increased scrutiny in the medical arena.

Last week, the National Health Service set in motion a new independent review led by the former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health into gender identity services, including how and when referrals are made to specialists and how clinical decisions are made pertaining to treatment of gender dysphoric patients.

On Oct. 7, court proceeding will begin in the case against the Tavistock gender clinic in London where whistleblower psychologists say distressed and vulnerable children and teenagers were being fast-tracked into medical gender-transition without an adequate exploration of underlying contributing factors to their dysphoria or an explanation of the physical and psychological risks associated with transitioning.

The lawsuit is being brought by Sue Evans, a psychologist and former Tavistock clinician, and will address, among other things, how informed consent is handled within the facility. As a result of the NHS's review, attorneys for detransitioner Keira Bell — a former transgender-identified woman who now says she was harmed by the experimental practices in the clinic and joined the suit as a claimant — advised her that her case would be unsuccessful.

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