It claims that doctors and nurses “assign” newborn babies a label, either male or female, “based on what they could see”. The book then goes on to explain that something called “gender” is more important than this superficial and arbitrary label. It describes gender as a “sliding scale”, with male at one end and female at the other, and says that where you land on this scale depends on “how you feel”. Maybe you’re “mostly male”, or “mostly female”? Or perhaps you’re both? Or neither?
The book is part of a collection featuring “Pop’n’Olly”: Olly Pike, an LGBT campaigner and former child actor who sports cat ears, and Pop, his balloon sidekick.
The duo bounce around in YouTube videos aimed at little children – and worksheets and books, which sponsors can pay to have sent into schools.
More than 800 copies of “What Does LGBT+ Mean?” have already been delivered.
RSE education, and PSHE (the secondary equivalent), are crowded with unregulated lobby groups offering misleading teaching material.
The organization I work for, Sex Matters, which campaigns for clarity about sex in law and everyday life, has found many who promote the idea of “gender identity”, telling children that “male” and “female” are feelings and that you can be a mixture of the two, or both, or neither.
This is, of course, arrant nonsense.
Male and female are objective biological terms, and we’re all one or the other, and which one we are can’t change.
Little children think superficial things like hairstyles and clothing determine whether someone is a boy or girl.
Normally, by around age seven they work out that your sex depends only on which body type you have.
But if adults they trust tell them falsehoods at this critical moment, they may be permanently confused.
Some will be frightened, too, by the idea that doctors and nurses can be wrong about whether a baby is a boy or girl.
They may wonder: could I wake up one morning and find that I’m no longer who I thought I was?
Encouraging children to dissociate from their bodies like this is part of the reason why so many are now identifying as “trans”.
This is a dangerous path. It can lead to experimental treatment with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, and ultimately sexual dysfunction and sterility.
Pop’n’Olly never explain what it “feels like” to be male or female.
Children are supposed to know their “gender” intuitively. But the only thing they have to guide them is stereotypes.
What else can they conclude except that “male” gender is about doing boyish things, and “female” gender is about doing girlish things?
That is sexist nonsense—and also homophobic.
There is a strong statistical link between growing up gay and having been a gender non-conforming child – precisely the sort of child now being framed as having a “gender” that’s different from their “assigned sex”.
I had thought that the era of homophobic playground bullying was over. Instead, in the guise of “gender”, it has moved to the classroom.
Schools should not teach children unscientific nonsense about the sexes.
It’s as bad as allowing anti-vaxxers write the science syllabus, or flat-earthers provide geography lessons.
And they shouldn’t teach regressive stereotypes either, even if they’re disguised as “gender”.
Instead, they should tell children the truth: that being male or female depends only on the type of body you were born with, but that it doesn’t have to affect what you like or how you behave.
Everyone, of either sex, can wear what they please, play with what they please and grow up to be anything.
Boys who like ballet and girls who like rugby may be unusual, but that’s fine, and it doesn’t make them less male or female. Now that would be truly progressive.