Boys who ‘identify’ as girls will be allowed to use the toilets, changing rooms, tents and showers of their choice – under new guidance from Girlguiding UK.
The updated ‘Supporting Trans Members’ guidance states that biological males can “use the facilities of the gender that they self-identify as”.
Leaders are also advised not to tell parents if their daughters will be required to share shower and sleeping facilities with boys.
Girls at risk
The Guide Association caters for girls aged 5-7 (Rainbows), 7-10 (Brownies), 10-14 (Guides) and 14-25 (Seniors).
This means under the new guidance, a 25-year-old man could share the same facilities as a 15-year-old girl without her parents’ knowledge.
Feminist campaigner Julie Bindel expressed her alarm, saying: “The concern that I and many feminists have about boys invading bedrooms, tents and showers, is that disproportionately the victims of sexual violence are girls and women, and overwhelmingly, the perpetrators are boys and men.
“This signifies the end to girl-only space and the safety of girls in single-sex organisations.”
Conservative backbench MP David Davies agreed saying the policy will “make some girls threatened and uncomfortable”, adding “the Guides shouldn’t be doing that”.
In January, Girlguiding UK announced that men can join as leaders – if they feel they have been born in the ‘wrong’ body.
The 107-year-old organisation advised that it would be unlawful to tell parents if their daughter is being looked after by a man identifying as a woman on overnight excursions.
The guidance on residential trips has now been updated to allow boys “to share accommodation with other young members if they wish”.
“The use of gendered facilities, such as toilets, can cause anxiety. Members are entitled to use the facilities of the gender that they self-identify as”, it says.
When asked if these facilities included toilets, changing rooms and showers, a Guides spokeswoman told The Mail on Sunday: “That is correct.”
Julie Bentley, Chief Executive of the Girl Guides, claimed the move was to comply with equality laws, however this interpretation of the law is disputed.
In 2015 Girlguiding UK published gender guidelines which claimed that “about 1 per cent of people are transgender or trans”.
But earlier this month, a professor at a controversial ‘gender identity’ clinic for children said that just “one child born in every 20,000” experiences transsexual feelings.
Professor Gary Butler, clinical lead at the UK Gender Identity Development Service, stressed that it is “incredibly rare” for children to ‘question their gender’.