Transsexualism – wanting to change physical sex because you feel you are ‘in the wrong body’ – has become an increasingly high-profile issue. People in the public eye have ‘changed their sex’, and the media normalises transsexualism. There has been a corresponding push for greater transsexual rights. This briefing introduces some of the issues at stake.
The Government’s aim of making it easier to ‘change sex’ will cause harm to children, a Times columnist has warned.
Clare Foges said: “Replacing ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ with a menu of dozens of identities only adds to children’s anxiety.”
At the weekend, Equalities Minister Justine Greening announced that the Gender Recognition Act would be reviewed, saying ‘intrusive’ medical checks should be removed.
Foges described Greening’s announcement as “idiotic” and added that children “are being led to believe that gender is simply a lifestyle choice”.
“It is asserted that we all sit somewhere along a spectrum of gender identity, and can float between maleness and femaleness. Anatomy is irrelevant. Psychology trumps biology.
“This is the new orthodoxy, now given the seal of government approval by Greening’s proposal.”
The Government has said it wants to “streamline and de-medicalise the process for changing gender”.
But Foges believes, “we must urgently give more thought to the effect of such a radical change on children, too, the messages it sends and the confusion it sows”.
She concluded: “Our guiding instinct in these matters must be kindness. But we must be very careful that in seeking to support the tiny minority of children who feel trapped in the wrong body we do not create a world of confusion and anxiety for the rest.”
Invasion of privacy
The Christian Institute’s Simon Calvert has warned that the Government’s plans threaten the privacy of women.
He told the Daily Mail: “Allowing men to self-identify as female without any medical diagnosis allows them to invade the privacy of women and girls.
“Where this policy has been tried in the US, women and young girls have experienced the fear and humiliation of finding themselves sharing toilet and changing facilities with men.
“Transgender people aren’t the only people with rights. Women have rights too.”