Women in domestic violence centres could feel at risk from men who say they are female, a Labour MP has cautioned.
Caroline Flint also warned against pushing children to think they are transsexuals just because they enjoy playing with non-stereotypical toys.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard, the Don Valley MP said she “absolutely supports trans rights” but also wants to protect women and girls.
“Young women have told me that they have been in toilets and men have come in, not trans men or women but men, and been abusive and intimidating”, said Flint.
She added that in changing rooms women walk around in their underwear “because it’s seen as safe”, but having men there “would change that”.
And she explained that for women-only services – such as domestic violence centres – it is important that “women feel safe”.
“It’s difficult to judge if someone says they define themselves as a trans woman but for all intents and purposes they look and sound like a man”, Flint said.
“There’s also a worry when people start to impose the idea that children are acting a certain way because they don’t want to be a boy or a girl”.
Last year the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee proposed radical measures to weaken the current law on transsexualism, which are now being considered by the Government.
But Flint noted concerns that “a wider group of voices wasn’t heard”.
Ministers are set to publish plans in the area soon, and are expected to recommend allowing people to change their legal gender simply by declaring it.
But women’s groups, therapists, doctors, academics and transgender activists have challenged the Government.