Making gender identity an issue creates confusion, says columnist

The idea that ‘gender identity’ exists separately to biological sex is creating confusion in society, a columnist has said.

Her comments come as the Government considers reforming the Gender Recognition Act, following a consultation to update the law, which closed on 22 October.

Writing for The Mail on Sunday, Melanie McDonough said, “we’re being asked to accept a lie, that gender is all in the mind”, adding that the Government shouldn’t change the law to go along with the pretence.

Presented as routine

Currently, a person must be diagnosed with medical dysphoria before they can legally ‘change sex’.

The Government has indicated it is in favour of allowing people to self-declare their gender, without medical diagnosis.

In an online form McDonagh was asked to confirm whether her eleven-year-old daughter was ‘male’, ‘female’, or ‘other’. In another question she was asked if her daughter had ever identified as transgender.

The columnist noted that: “Questions that never actually occurred to us are now presented as routine”.


“There’s nothing to stop any of us from identifying as whatever we like”, the columnist argued.

“Any of us can identify as man, woman or unicorn, and live our lives accordingly without asking the law to be complicit in fraud.”

She also argued that it’s “not just that we’re being asked to collude in a legal fiction. It’s that making gender identity an issue in the first place creates confusion, self-doubt and worry in young people – the ones whose mental health we’re so worried about”.

Mental health studies

A study in April found that transgender and gender non-conforming children and adolescents aged three to 17 are up to 13 times more likely to develop depression and other mental health conditions.

In this group, around 15 per cent of males and 16 per cent of females were diagnosed with attention defecit disorders, whilst depression was diagnosed among 49 per cent of males and 62 per cent of females.

Equalities Minister, Penny Mordent asked Government officials to look into the potential causes of why there has been a 4,400 per cent rise in number of girls referred for gender dysphoria in the past nine years.

Education experts said that promoting transgenderism in schools and encouraging children to question their gender has “sown confusion” in children’s minds.

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