British children as young as seven are to be taught in schools to stop using the terms ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ – in case they discriminate against transgender pupils – as a taxpayer-funded book about transgenderism is being rolled out to primary schools across the United Kingdom.
The book — Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? — focuses on a 12-year-old who is transitioning from a girl to a boy through drugs. It also lays out ‘ground rules’ for children to follow, advising against using language that suggests there are only two genders. It also condemns saying ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’.
Critics claim the book will confuse its young audience and that the controversial text advocates medical interventions that are harmful.
New American reports:
The book begins, “My name is Kit and I’m 12 years old. I live in a house with my mum and dad, and our dog, Pickle. When I was born, the doctors told my mum and dad that they had a baby girl, and so for the first few years of my life that’s how my parents raised me. This is called being assigned female at birth. I wasn’t ever very happy that way.”
Kit begins to use puberty-blocking drugs to undergo a sex change in the book and “stop my body developing in ways that make me unhappy.”
According to the book’s publisher, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, the book’s intent is to “explain medical transitioning for children aged seven and above.”
The book’s author, CJ Atkinson, told The Guardian that Kit’s transition includes wearing boys’ clothes, using male pronouns, and changing the birth certificate to read Christopher instead of Kit.
Kit also discusses the possibility of taking testosterone at 16 so that her body emulates all the same puberty changes that males experience, as well as surgery. She associates with people who identify by numerous pronouns, including “they” and “xe.”
According to the Daily Mail, the book is set to be distributed by the government-funded organization Educate and Celebrate, for use in 120 “best practice” schools around the U.K. The book also advises teachers, students, and parents to avoid language that indicates that there are only two genders.
A spokesperson for Jessica Kingsley Publishers said the book had been commissioned because of a lack of available resources currently in schools. “The introduction of gender-neutral toilets and non-binary pronouns are important first steps, but there is a definite lack of resources out there for teachers, parents and children themselves,” the spokesperson told The Guardian.
“This book will spark discussion in the classroom and at home, answering difficult questions that children may have about gender diversity.”
But parents are understandably angered by the book’s placement in school curriculums, asserting that it will do nothing but confuse the vast majority of students who have no confusion about their gender identities.
The Daily Mail’s Sarah Vine said in her column: “In attempting to improve the lives of a vanishingly small minority, we are threatening the sanity of — and yes I’m going to say it — normal children. It’s time to put an end to this nonsense.”
Professor Alan Smithers of the University of Buckingham told the Express that the book is a prime example of “theory gone mad.”
“The vast majority of children are comfortable with being boys or girls and these are the traditional and well-understood terms for how they see themselves,” said Smithers. “There are some who are not, and they should be respected and helped to find their identities. But that is no reason for overturning something that has worked since the beginning of time.”
But the author, who identifies as queer, contends that those critics are simply guilty of “trans-panic” and “mudslinging.”
“It causes active harm. When you have a group of transgender young people, one in two will consider suicide, one in three will attempt it,” said Atkinson.
“The world is changing,” argues Atkinson. “A book like this is needed.”
Despite this contention, however, members of the mental health community do not agree. In fact, according to a report published in The New Atlantis, transgenderism is unsupported by science and any notion to the contrary is dangerous, especially for children.
The report, co-authored by former Chief of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University Dr. Paul R. McHugh and Arizona State University professor of statistics and biostatistics Lawrence S. Mayer, concludes that “gender identity” is not separate from biological sex.
“Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence,” reads the report’s preface.
“The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence,” stated the researchers.