Poll: Fewer than one in three Scots support sex changes for 16-year-olds

Fewer than one in three Scots support proposals to reduce the minimum age for changing legal sex to 16, according to a poll conducted for The Sunday Times.

The Scottish Government is considering lowering the age from 18 to 16, but draft legislation has not yet been published.

Of the 1,009 people surveyed by Panelbase, 50 per cent opposed the change while only 32 per cent supported it.

Watered down

The Scottish Government has pledged to publish a draft gender recognition Bill and hold a consultation on its contentious proposals.

The SNP is planning to water down the requirements needed to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Currently, a person must be diagnosed with gender dysphoria by two doctors and have lived as though they were the opposite sex for two years.

Proposals would see this lowered to six months and remove the need for medical certification.


Earlier this year, Cabinet Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville told Holyrood that she was “acutely aware of how divided opinion is”.

In October, SNP MSP Joan McAlpine raised the issue of children “changing their minds about transitioning, after making irreversible changes to their bodies”.

She said: “It is appalling that people who raise these concerns are being shouted down”.


The Christian Institute was among those speaking out against change when the Scottish Government carried out its initial consultation on gender recognition reform.

Deputy Director Ciarán Kelly said MSPs were “clearly taken aback by the level of hostility” to these “damaging proposals”.

He added that the Scottish public “are firmly opposed to allowing people to change legal sex more or less on demand”.

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