A sudden rise in students wanting to be the opposite sex is alarming many teachers and parents. The phenomenon is apparent in all English-speaking countries and, especially for teenage girls, the increase in trans-identification is exponential.
– The United Kingdom Gender Identity Service (GIDS) had 138 children (mostly boys) referred in 2011. In 2021 2383 children were seen and the sex ratio had reversed, with 70% now being female.(1) (There are no statistics for Aotearoa.)
– Many of the children have pre-existing mental health, trauma-related, or neurological conditions. At the GIDS clinic about 35% are autistic when the figure for the general population is about 1%.(2)
– Studies have shown that gender dysphoric teens who are not socially transitioned or put on puberty blockers often grow up to be gay or lesbian.(3)
We need to talk about this as a matter of urgency.
In some NZ schools, children are being taught that it is possible to change sex. This follows the release in 2020 of the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) new guidelines for teaching Relationships and Sexuality (RSE) from Year 1-13.(4)
It is now MoE policy to teach as fact, from the age of five, the belief that children can have a gender identity separate from their sexed bodies (RSE Guide p30). The glossary to the guide (from p48) states falsely that sex is ‘assigned’ at birth and that there are three sexes – male, female, and intersex. It says that ‘gay’ means same-gender attraction, thus denying the concept of same-sex attraction.
Parents deserve to be fully informed about this new policy so that they can meaningfully engage in the community consultation that every school is supposed to undertake every two years to determine the nature of relationship and sexuality education in their school.
In April this year, further RSE teaching resources were recommended, including the Trans 101(5) video that states it is not even necessary to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria to be trans; all it takes is liking something that is usually associated with the opposite sex. The Ministry also advises schools that they can change a student’s name and pronouns at school (with no lower age limit) and keep it a secret from their parents.(6)
Instead of celebrating diversity, these policies are teaching gender non-conforming children that there is something wrong with them if they don’t match sexist stereotypes and that the only way of fitting in is to alter their bodies. The truth that humans cannot change sex is glossed over or even denied, and wishful thinking is lauded.
In Aotearoa we do not have national statistics on the number of young people seeking help for gender dysphoria, nor how many are prescribed puberty blockers, nor how many “gender-affirming” surgeries are being performed. We do not know how many transgender people regret their decisions. Yet, without any of this most basic information, the country is embracing an “affirmation” model of care and some are seeking to silence those who are raising questions.
We need to talk about how affirmation, without careful investigation of other possible underlying causes, can lead to unnecessary treatments that are later regretted. The risks for young people could not be higher. Incorrect diagnosis could lead to a lifelong dependence on medication, the irreversible removal of body parts, and the possibility of sterility.
To encourage this vital conversation, Resist Gender Education (RGE), a new group of concerned parents and educators has been formed. RGE believes that no child is born in the wrong body. We call for factual, science-based teaching in schools and evidence-based healthcare for children suffering gender confusion. Our website, www.resistgendereducation.nz, contains information, research, resources, and links to other related websites.
All children should be able to express their personalities in dress and behaviour without discrimination, labelling, or medical intervention to ‘fix’ them. It is a fundamental human right for children to go through puberty and reach adulthood with their fertility and sexual function intact.