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  • Resist Gender Education | Law takes precedence over policy

    Law takes precedence over policy Under NZ law, parents have a range of rights and responsibilities that they can exercise when raising their children. The Care of Children Act A child’s upbringing is primarily the responsibility of their parents and the parents are to be consulted by any other parties involved in that child’s upbringing. NZ Care of Children Act 2004, s.5 (Principles relating to child’s welfare and best interests) states: “ a child’s care, development, and upbringing should be primarily the responsibility of his or her parents and guardians, ” and, “a child’s care, development, and upbringing should be facilitated by ongoing consultation and co-operation between his or her parents, guardians, and any other person having a role in his or her care under a parenting or guardianship order ”. https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2004/0090/latest/DLM317241.html The Crimes Act 1961 Parents have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect their child from injury. NZ Crimes Act 1961, Schedule 2, s.152 – Parents of children under the age of 18 have “a legal duty … to take reasonable steps to protect that child from injury.” https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2011/0079/latest/DLM3650020.html The Bill of Rights Act 1990 Every citizen has the right to freedom of belief and freedom of expression. NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990, s.13 – “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference.” s.14 – “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.” https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0109/latest/whole.html#DLM225513 The Human Rights Act 1993 Discrimination on the grounds of sex is permitted in the interests of public decency, safety, and fairness. NZ Human Rights Act 1993, s.46 allows for single sex space discrimination, “on the ground of public decency or public safety”. It is established that members of both sexes sometimes need sex-segregated spaces away from the eyes of the public for decency and safety. https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0082/latest/DLM304624.html Some service providers include males who claim they are women into their women's spaces because they think they have to by law. They are not aware of their obligations to provide services that are safe for women - in some cases it is discriminatory not to provide these services. https://www.speakupforwomen.nz/self-id The Education and Training Act 2020 Parents have the right to opt their children out of specified parts of the health curriculum related to sexuality. NZ Education and Training Act 2020, s51(1), "A parent of a student enrolled at a State school may ask the principal in writing to ensure that the student is released from tuition in specified parts of the health curriculum related to sexuality education." Many parents are surprised to learn that, by law, schools are required to provide a full consultation for parents on sexuality education every two years. This includes providing the curriculum content and adequate opportunity for parents to submit anonymous feedback. NZ Education and Training Act 2020, s91(1), "The board of a State school must, at least once every 2 years, after consulting the school community, adopt a statement on the delivery of the health curriculum. S91(2), " The purpose of the consultation is to— (a) inform the school community about the content of the health curriculum; and (b) ascertain the wishes of the school community regarding the way in which the health curriculum should be implemented given the views, beliefs, and customs of the members of that community; and (c) determine, in broad terms, the health education needs of the students at the school." https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2020/0038/latest/LMS171475.html Here are the legal requirements for schools to consult with parents about the content of relationship and sexuality education and what parents can do if they are dissatisfied with the consultation offered. https://resistgendereducation.substack.com/p/consultation-use-it-or-lose-it The Responsibilities of Boards of Trustees The stewardship role of Boards of trustees involves planning for, and acting in, the interests of the school and its community. Student learning, wellbeing, achievement, and progress are the board's main concern. (Ref Pg 2, ERO School Trustees Booklet 2017). The purpose of a school is not to provide a conduit for political or social ideologies. We recommend that Boards of Trustees remove gender politics from schools and focus on respecting the needs of all students and creating an environment of acceptance rather than one of exceptionalism. www.resistgendereducation.nz Resist Gender Education | The Responsibilities of Boards of Trustees In the last few years, schools and teachers have found themselves in a gender minefield without the training or quality guidance they need on how to navigate through the demands being placed upon them by some very confused ideas about sex and gender. In addition, BoTs have duties as emploers to provide a safe and healthy workplace, including mitigating stress. Read more details of BoT responsibilities here: https://resistgendereducation.substack.com/p/unmitigated-stress Your rights as a parent When schools endorse social transition (changing name, pronouns and clothing) without explicit parental consent, they are depriving parents of the opportunity to fulfill their responsibilities under the Care of Children Act 2004 to determine the medical treatment of their child. We have received legal advice that confirms that, under the Education Act, principals are expected to inform parents of any matters that in the principal’s opinion “ are preventing or slowing the student’s progress... (or) harming the student’s relationships with teachers or other students.” However, this expectation is entirely dependent on the principal’s opinion and there is no case law to clarify the extent or limits of the principal’s decision. To read more, click on the link below. https://www.resistgendereducation.nz/information/your-rights-as-a-parent MOE policy does not take heed of the law In 2022, RGE asked the Ministry of Education and the Teaching Council a series of questions about clashes between their policies and the above laws. We received only the briefest of answers, advising that both organisations had not sought legal advice and therefore could not answer the questions. To read the questions and the inadequate replies click on the link below. www.resistgendereducation.nz Resist Gender Education | Your Rights as a Teacher The Ministry of Education endorses the idea that being transgender is a positive and ‘authentic’ choice for young children to make. As a teacher, what can you do if you disagree and don’t want to teach children that sex is on a spectrum and can be changed at will? In response to a query from the Free Speech Union , the Teaching Council CEO, Lesley Hoskins, agreed that teachers do have the right to decline to use preferred pronouns, as long as they do so in a respectful way.

  • Resist Gender Education | Books

    Books The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt. " With a series of horrifying graphs and corresponding analysis, Haidt demonstrates that young people’s mental health has fallen off a cliff since the early 2010s. While acknowledging the impact of over-diagnosis and self-reported mental illness, the correlation between the arrival of smart phones and social media with soaring numbers of mental illnesses among young people appears to be unmistakeable." (Stella O'Malley.) Bad Therapy , is an investigation from Abigail Shrier, the author of Irreversible Damage, into a mental health industry that is harming, not healing, American children. When Kids Say They're Trans is a guide book for parents, written by Sasha Ayad, Lisa Marchiano and Stella O'Malley. It is described as essential reading for all aprents and professionals supporting young people stuggling with the issue of gender identity. Lost in Transnation. Child psychologist, Dr Miriam Grossman’s new book “Lost in Transnation” is an essential guide out of the madness for anyone whose family is embroiled in a gender identity battle or who wants to prevent one. Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans is a collection of deeply personal stories about the effects of gender ideology on vulnerable, socailly awkward kids and their families. Time to Think . Hannah Barnes’s book about the rise and calamitous fall of the Gender Identity Development Service for children in north London, is the result of intensive work, carried out across several years. A journalist at the BBC’s Newsnight , Barnes has based her account on more than 100 hours of interviews with Gids’ clinicians, former patients, and other experts, many of whom are quoted by name. It comes with 59 pages of notes, plentiful well-scrutinised statistics, and it is scrupulous and fair-minded. Such a book cannot easily be dismissed. Irreversible Damage: The transgender craze seducing our daughters by Abigail Shrier Until very recently, gender dysphoria affected only a very small number of people and mainly boys. But suddenly, whole friendship groups of teenage girls are ‘coming out’ as transgender. Shrier , a writer for the Wall Street Journal, has dug deep into the trans epidemic, talking to the girls, their agonized parents, counsellors and doctors, as well as to “detransitioners”— young women who bitterly regret what they have done to themselves. She offers urgently needed advice about how parents can protect their daughters. Trans: When Ideology Meets reality by Helen Joyce This is a painstakingly researched book about trans activism and every issue related to it. Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism by Kathleen Stock This book thoroughly critiques the theory of gender identity and explains the significance and impact of biological sex, especially on women. Trans: Exploring Gender Identity and Gender Dysphoria by Dr Az Hakeem Hakeem is a clinical psychologist who has assembled contributions from experts to provide a guide to the psychology and everyday reality of gender dysphoria and being trans. Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body by Heather Brunskell-Evans & Michele Moore This book is a collection of essays that argue that it is politics, not science, which accounts for the exponential rise in the number of children diagnosed as transgender by gender identity clinics. Inventing Transgender Children and Young People by Heather Brunskell-Evans & Michele Moore The essays in this volume are written by clinicians, psychologists, sociologists, educators, parents and detransitioners. Contributors demonstrate how transgender children and young people are invented in different medical, social and political contexts.

  • InsideOUT

    InsideOUT’s school resources ignore the needs of girls. There are ten written resource documents for schools on InsideOUT’s website that can be downloaded or ordered as physical copies. In addition, there are posters and videos available. These glossy resources have been produced with at least $100,000 of support from the Ministry of Education. In all the documents, the narrative focuses on schools nurturing and supporting rainbow students in multiple ways, and encourages staff and other students to do so as well. However, there are no instances where rainbow students are guided on how to behave with mutual respect towards others. Lack of expertise You would expect InsideOut, as a “trusted organisation”,* to be run by very well qualified and experienced people from a range of professions such as education, medicine, or psychiatry. But instead, a perusal of InsideOut’s website [in April 2024] finds that of the 31 people profiled, a large majority have no academic qualifications whatsoever . Only nine of the 31 are said to hold degrees, often in unrelated fields, with one having a Master of Education. Of note is that the 15 school co-ordinators, who go into schools to provide sexuality education ‘training’ to teachers, largely have no relevant academic qualifications.Two are registered social workers and one who has a Masters in Biology (!) Funded by the taxpayer InsideOut’s widespread influence is not due to a groundswell of grass roots support and private donations. According to the Charities Register , InsideOut’s income for the 2021-22 reporting year was $1.84million, of which over $1 million seems to be a grant from government ministries to provide “goods and services”. The Ministry of Education has confirmed in a letter that it provided the charity with $100,000 in 2020. More than $800,000 of InsideOut’s income was spent on “Volunteer and employee related payments.” No other voice in the debate about sex and gender identity has a fraction of this kind of money to spend. It is a mystery how InsideOut came to be viewed by the MOE as the go-to experts on relationship and sexuality education. The organisation has been showered with money for at least five years, so that a large number of NZ schools have now been influenced by its doctrine. Trans identities are paramount Specifically, schools are told that gender-neutral toilet and changing room facilities should be available, but that “trans, gender diverse, or intersex students will never be made to use a separate facility against their wishes” . So a boy who identifies as a girl should be allowed to use the girls’ facilities if that’s what he wishes, irrespective of how the girls, including lesbians, might feel about having a male-sexed person in intimate spaces with them. For overnight school trips, InsideOUT offers the same advice ( to allow trans students to choose where they sleep) except when visiting a marare. In that circumstance, the advice is that “Where possible, the school should consult with the marae manager/s or iwi affiliated with the marae before the visit to discuss options for trans and intersex students and reach a solution that upholds the mana of everyone involved” . Presumably, girls are included in this recommendation to uphold everyone’s mana. I s a marae the only place a girl’s mana is upheld? Girls matter too Although schools should indeed assist with rainbow students’ full participation in school life, no students’ rights should come at the expense of other students. Women and girls are notoriously bad at speaking out against injustices or abuses, especially where there is a risk of group ostracisation, so that policies that make them uncomfortable or fearful are often never challenged. InsideOut's school guidelines for transgender students appear to give no consideration as to how they might clash with girls’ safety and wellbeing. Girls matter, too. Read detailed critiques of these resources here: Ending Rainbow-focussed bullying and discrimination Ending bullying review .pdf Download PDF • 327KB Making Schools Safer Review of Making Schools Safer (002) .pdf Download PDF • 318KB *See the MOE's Frequently Queried Topics Years 7-10 (p21) What do gender identity supporters believe? Gender identity activism is based on a belief that everyone has an innate sense of being masculine, feminine, or neither, and that this feeling does not always correlate with their sexed bodies. They believe that a person’s gender identity should take precedence over their observable sex and that everyone else must accept their self-identification. There is a range of views within gender identity activism, with some acknowledging that sex is an objective classification and others contending that sex is on a spectrum and that binary classifications are scientifically false. The more extreme activists say that there are hundreds or thousands of distinct and legitimate gender identities, all of which should be recognised by others. Extreme trans activists demand that the subjective concept of gender identity should replace the objective reality of sex in all government policy and law. For example, NZ law now allows anyone (including children) to have their birth certificate changed (multiple times) to the sex they self-declare. The fact that the birth certificate has been changed is permanently hidden from public view. Arty Morty's December 2023 substack, The War to Annihilate Sex clearly explains both sides of the debate and what is at stake. How do gender identity beliefs affect NZ schools? The Ministry of Education published the updated Relationship and Sexuality Education Guidelines (RSE) in September 2020 which is heavily supportive of gender identity thinking. Our critique of the Guidelines is here. The Guidelines are based on Gender Identity Theory that argues that everyone has an inner feeling of masculinity, femininity, or neither that is known only to themselves and should be automatically affirmed by others, including at school. The alternative explanation for gender distress, the Developmental Model Theory, is not mentioned at all. This theory recognises that there is a very long history of people developing behaviours to manage distress and becoming fixated on them - such as obsessive compulsive disorder, anorexia, cutting and now gender dysphoria. Given the right support, there is also a very long history of people recovering from these conditions, however the MOE Guidelines do not suggest this alternative approach to schools. Schools are required to consult their community on the contents of sexuality education and parents retain the right to withdraw their children from these lessons. However, parents are often unaware of the incidental discussion of trans beliefs in everyday classroom conversations. Advice on how to communicate with your school on this issue is here. In the name of being inclusive and kind, schools and other students feel they must use new names and pronouns (see below) for transgender children and must provide special facilities for them. The RSE guidelines direct schools to allow students to use the facilities “of the gender identity they are most comfortable with” and students are often not consulted or are pressured into agreeing with that policy. The RSE guide encourages schools to support a child’s social transition (see below) without mentioning the need to consult parents. Under the Education Act, principals are expected to inform parents of any matters that in the principal’s opinion “are preventing or slowing the student’s progress... (or) harming the student’s relationships with teachers or other students.” This expectation is entirely dependent on the principal’s opinion and there is no case law to clarify the extent or limits of the principal’s decision. If the principal is fully supportive of organisations like InsideOUT and follows its advice, parents will not be informed. Some parents of trans children are not informing the school of their child’s transition and the Human Rights Commission recommends that, if known, schools keep the transition a secret from other parents. This removes the right of other parents to know who their child shares space with in school changing rooms and on school camps. Rainbow organisations with good funding have been able to influence LGBTQ education in schools in many Western countries, including NZ. Under the guise of anti-bullying programmes, many schools contract out to activist groups to provide sex education that confuses children about biological reality and can persuade them to claim a gender identity. Support groups for lesbians and gays in schools are disappearing in favour of transgender support. It has become ‘uncool’ to be lesbian and the attention and compassion for the rainbow community is now mostly reserved for those with a trans identity. In the past, children who were gay or lesbian were often bullied. Now it is becoming common for children to be bullied for not being ‘queer’. Some children have discovered that adopting a non-binary persona is a necessary safeguard. What is the problem with preferred pronouns and inclusive language? Contrary to trans activists’ claims, requiring people to use ‘preferred pronouns’ is not inclusive, nor is it kind. It forces everyone to take sides in an ideological belief and can lead to bullying of those who choose the ‘wrong’ pronouns for themselves, or accidentally use the ‘wrong’ pronoun for others. Using preferred pronouns has become a linguistic game that “cultivates fragility, entitlement ... and brainwashes children into hating their bodies.” Pronouns have become weaponised, leading to accusations of ‘misgendering’ that are used to excessively punish small perceived errors in speech with charges of bigotry and violence. ‘Preferred pronouns’ are touted as a mark of respect but they are more often a mark of submission. Many people object to being compelled to use chosen pronouns, for example in cases where female victims of violence have been required to address their male abusers as ‘she’. Trans activists, representing about 1% of the population, are demanding radical changes to the language for the other 99%. ‘Women’ has been given a circular and nonsensical new meaning: a woman is now any person who feels like a woman. Medical terms for women’s anatomy and bodily functions are being discarded in favour of words that are disconnected from women altogether: vagina becomes ‘front hole’; breast-feeding becomes ‘chest feeding’; mother becomes ‘birthing parent’. Pride in being a girl, woman or a mother is taken away. These new terms, designed for the comfort of a very few, will result in disadvantaged women and girls being even further distanced from the health care they need. Is social transition harmless? Social transition can mean anything from choosing a gender-neutral nickname and wearing androgynous clothing, right through to adopting an opposite sex name, pronouns, and clothes and wanting to be recognised as the opposite sex by everyone else in all facets of life. Far from being “kind and affirming” as claimed, it fixes the new identity and makes it harder for children to later change their minds. When everyone else is expected to go along with the fiction, children are learning that affirming another’s belief is what matters and questioning is wrong. What is ROGD? Dr Lisa Littman, Public Health Assistant Professor at Brown University, coined the term Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) after studying the phenomenon of the sudden onset of gender dysphoria amongst girls belonging to a peer group where multiple friends have become transgender-identified during the same timeframe, often accompanied by lengthy periods spent on social media and the internet. Some of the results from Littman’s study are: 41% of the participants had expressed a non-heterosexual sexual orientation before identifying as transgender; 62.5% had been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder or neurodevelopmental disability prior to the onset of gender dysphoria; in 36.8% of the friendship groups, the majority of the friends became trans-identified; and 49.4% tried to isolate from their families. Boys and young men also experience ROGD. Some of their stories have been collected in a four part Quillette series. There has been a twenty fold rise in the number of people seeking transition, with teenagers hugely-overrepresented. Between 2007 and 2017, the number of transgender youth clinics in the US went from 1 to 41 and the number continues to increase. A survey in the UK has found a 15 fold increase in children being referred for gender treatment since 2010, and also a marked regional difference with referrals in Blackpool three times the national rate. In this 5 minute video, Abigail Shrier explains the phenomenon of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) and its tragic effects on a generation of (mostly) girls. Shrier is the author of Irreversible Damage: the transgender craze seducing our daughters. What is the problem with puberty blockers? Puberty blockers are an experimental treatment that is too readily prescribed to young people who cannot fully understand the consequences. Puberty blockers are drugs that were developed for the treatment of prostate cancer and they have never been certified as safe and effective for treating gender dysphoria. Multiple reviews of the use of puberty blockers have all found a lack of evidence for their safety or efficacy. These reviews include: Finland 2020 revised its treatment guidelines, prioritising psychological interventions and support over medical interventions. Sweden 2021 The Karolinska Hospital ceased the use of puberty blockers for those aged under 18. Sweden 2022 Following a comprehensive review, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare concluded that the evidence base for hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth is of low quality and that hormonal treatments may carry risks. As a result of this determination, the eligibility for pediatric gender transition with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in Sweden will be sharply curtailed. France 2022 The French National Academie of Medicine recommended caution in the use of puberty blockers: “...the greatest reserve is required in their use, given the side effects such as impact on growth, bone fragility, risk of sterility, emotional and intellectual consequences and, for girls, symptoms reminiscent of menopause”. Florida 2022 The Florida Department of Health issued new guidelines on treating gender dysphoria for children and adolescents which recommends that minors should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy. United Kingdom 2022 An independent review, led by Dr Hilary Cass, highlighted a profound lack of evidence and medical consensus about the best approach to treating gender dysphoria in children. Norway 2023 After a review, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board stated it has serious concerns about the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and that the current ‘gender affirming’ guidelines are not evidence-based and must be revised. Denmark 2023 In a marked shift in the country's approach to caring for youth with gender dysphoria, most youth who are referred to the centralised gender clinic now receive therapeutic counselling and support, rather than a prescription for puberty blockers. New Zealand 2022 In September 2022, the NZ Ministry of Health website quietly removed its description of puberty blockers as being “safe and fully reversible” and replaced it with “Blockers are sometimes used from early puberty through to later adolescence to allow time to fully explore gender health options.” Unlawful. In this article, Bernard Lane describes how the NZ Ministry of Health was warned by Medsafe in September 2022 it could be breaking the law by publicising the off-label use of puberty blockers for children. Questions mount around the use of puberty blockers in children. by Jan Rivers. "New Zealand rates of puberty blocker use are much higher than the UK, where the Tavistock Clinic’s Gender Service (GIDS) was closed due to unsafe practices. In New Zealand, Dr Sue Bagshaw reports that 65 per cent of her clinic’s 100 patients receive them. The Tavistock GIDS clinic prescribed blockers to about 6 per cent." Flaws in Dutch Puberty Blocker Study 2023 A peer-reviewed open access publication has exposed deep flaws in the Dutch studies that formed the foundation for youth gender transition and concluded that these studies should never have been used to launch the practice of youth gender transition into mainstream medicine. Puberty blockers are wrongly claimed to be fully reversible. Short term studies have shown changes to height, lower bone density, and potential interference with brain function, while long term effects are unknown. Treating gender dysphoria with puberty blockers is a medical experiment which may leave young people in a state of ‘developmental limbo’ without the beneficial effects of puberty on maturation and the development of secondary sex characteristics. A 2021 Swedish documentary described finding “case after case of irreversible treatment of young people gone wrong", including a 15 year old who has constant pain from severely reduced bone density after being on puberty blockers for four years. Nearly all young people who start puberty blockers go on to life-long use of cross sex hormones and their irreversible effects. In a study carried out by the Gender Identity Development Service in the UK, of 44 children who were referred for puberty blockers between the ages of 12 and 15, all except one – 98% of the cohort – progressed to cross-sex hormones. Studies have shown that a large majority (around 80%) of trans identified youth grow up to change their minds and accept their biological sex. The current rush to affirm a trans identity by some counsellors, clinicians and parents means large numbers of children are being medicalised when a ‘watchful waiting’ approach would have been most appropriate. March 2024. The WPATH Files were published, revealing that 'gender-affirming care" is leading to widespread medical malpractice on children and vulnerable adults. The “WPATH files” are documents leaked from the internal chatboard of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). The leaked files reveal that treatments may do more harm than good, and suggest that some clinicians who are members of WPATH know this. (Sex Matters) In this Quillette article, Bernard Lane gives an overview of the use of puberty blockers as a routine treatment for gender distress and the resulting medical scandal. In a new study (2024), the Mayo Clinic has found mild to severe atrophy in the testes of boys on puberty blockers, leading the authors to express doubt in the claims that these drugs are 'safe and reversible'. Which countries have restricted the use of puberty blockers and other medical treatments of gender distress in minors? France 2024 French senators have published a report that expresses alarm at the excesses of child gender transition and have proposed a bill to put an end to it. England 2024: The NHS will no longer routinely prescribe puberty blockers at gender identity clinics in England and Wales. (Scotland NHS is a separate body.) The Netherlands 2024: The Dutch government has passed a motion to conduct research into the physical and mental health outcomes of children given puberty blockers. Denmark 2023 In a marked shift in the country's approach to caring for youth with gender dysphoria, most youth who are referred to the centralised gender clinic now receive therapeutic counselling and support, rather than a prescription for puberty blockers. Norway 2023 After a review, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board stated it has serious concerns about the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and that the current ‘gender affirming’ guidelines are not evidence-based and must be revised. Sweden 2021 The Karolinska Hospital ceased the use of puberty blockers for those aged under 18 . Finland 2020 revised its treatment guidelines, prioritising psychological interventions and support over medical interventions. USA 2023-24: A total of 22 states have so far passed laws protecting children from routine medicalisation of gender distress. The laws vary in what they proscribe and in the penalties imposed and some of them are subject to ongoing legal challenges. This interactive map provides state by state details. New Zealand 2022: In September of that year the Ministry of Health website quietly removed its description of puberty blockers as being “safe and fully reversible” and initiated a review into their safety and efficacy. We are still awaiting that report. What has happened in Sweden? As with other Western nations, in the mid 2000s, Sweden enthusiastically started treating children who had gender dysphoria with hormones, followed by genital surgery. However, in late 2019, there was a sharp 65% decline in the number of referrals to gender clinics in Sweden, as shown in the graph below. This sharp decline corresponds with experts calling on the government to review treatment protocols and with the airing of a television documentary – Trans Train – that revealed to the population that medical transition of minors is not based on scientific evidence. In April 2021, Sweden announced a new policy for the treatment of gender dysphoric minors. Those under 18 will no longer be prescribed puberty blockers or cross sex hormones and doctors are required to give better explanations of the risks and uncertainties of transition. Following a comprehensive review, in February 2022 the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare concluded that the evidence base for hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth is of low quality and that hormonal treatments may carry risks. As a result of this determination, the eligibility for pediatric gender transition with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in Sweden will be sharply curtailed. For most youth, psychiatric care and gender-exploratory psychotherapy will be offered instead. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis, and the number of clinics providing paediatric gender transition will be reduced to a few highly specialised centralised care centres. What has happened in the United Kingdom? The exponential rise in teenage girls seeking medical gender transition began to raise alarm bells and the Keira Bell case confirmed that there are serious questions about the efficacy and long term impact of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. In April 2021 a report by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) found the evidence for using puberty blocking drugs to treat young people struggling with their gender identity is “very low”. A further independent review, led by Dr Hilary Cass, released an interim report in March 2022 that highlights a profound lack of evidence and medical consensus about the best approach to treating gender dysphoria in children. This is Dr Cass's latest update (Dec 2022) about the proposed changes to the UK's transgender medicine services. Following the interim Cass Report, in April 2022, the UK Health Secretary,Sajid Javid, announced an urgent review into gender treatment services for children in England, saying that services in this area were too affirmative and narrow, and “bordering on the ideological”. In December 2022 the Scottish parliament passed a bill allowing sex-self-ID. In January 2023, the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak announced his government would block the legislation. Days later, Nicola Sturgeon, the then Scottish First Minister was embroiled in a controversy about a rapist who had self-identified into a women's prison. Time to Think by Hannah Barnes was published in January 2023. This Guardian review of the Gender Identity development service describes, "As referrals to Gids grew rapidly – in 2009, it had 97; by 2020, this figure was 2,500 – so did pressure on the service. Barnes found that the clinic – which employed an unusually high number of junior staff, to whom it offered no real training – no longer had much time for the psychological work (the talking therapies) of old. But something else was happening, too. Trans charities such as Mermaids were closely – too closely – involved with Gids. Such organisations vociferously encouraged the swift prescription of drugs. This now began to happen, on occasion, after only two consultations. Once a child was on blockers, they were rarely offered follow-up appointments. Gids did not keep in touch with its patients in the long term, or keep reliable data on outcomes." In March 2024 the NHS (National Health Service) announced that puberty blockers would no longer be routinely prescribed in England and Wales. (Scotland's NHS is a separate body.) What are the effects of cross sex hormones? For females, taking testosterone irreversibly deepens the voice, promotes the growth of facial and body hair, and enlarges the clitoris. It also can thicken the blood, increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack. Body fat is redistributed and sweat and body odour are affected. Vaginal atrophy (the thinning and drying of the vaginal wall) is usual and menstruation is reduced or ceases. Initially there is often a ‘high’ produced by the increased testosterone, with anxiety and emotional responses markedly reduced, but this may not last long term. For males, taking oestrogen causes the development of breasts, a reduction in muscle mass and body hair, reduced testicular size and sperm count, the redistribution of fat, a change in sweat and body odour and changes in emotions. For both sexes there is a loss of sexual function – vaginal atrophy in females (drier vaginal walls can cause pain during sex), and reduced erectile function in males. Both sexes can experience a change in sexual interest, arousal, and orgasm. There is also possible infertility in both sexes caused by the reduced ovulation and sperm production. Children who move directly from puberty blockers to artificial sex hormones will never go through the puberty for their sex and boys’ penises will remain permanently immature, at the size of a child’s. Gender-affirming surgery that includes hysterectomy and oophorectomy in transmen (females) or orchiectomy in transwomen (males) results in permanent sterility. What is the reality of a sex change operation? A lot of the hype around gender identity ideology says that sex re-assignment surgery is simple and that it will make the patient indistinguishable from someone born as the desired sex. The euphemisms used of ‘top surgery’ or ‘bottom surgery’ blatantly hide the truth. All sex-reassignment surgery is potentially dangerous, often disfiguring, and it never provides the full appearance and function of natural genitalia. Young people are being misled. Sex re-assignment surgery also permanently sterilises the patient through castration of males and the removal of the ovaries and uterus of females. Here are two accounts from people who have undergone the surgery, one from Scott Newgent and one from Melissa Vulgaris, describing what it was like for them. In this interview, detransitioner Ritchie Herron describes the catastrophic effects of his gender surgery which he says was "the biggest mistake of my life." On GB News, detransitioners Keira Bell and Ritchie Herron describe the lack of information they were given about the side effects of surgery and the pressure they felt under to agree to the recommendations of their doctors and therapists. What is a detransitioner? A detransitioner is a person who has undergone medical and/or surgical transition to the opposite gender but has later come to regret this choice and has reverted to their biological sex. Here is a personal account of detransitioning from Ellie and Nele and another from Sinead Watson. After ceasing the taking of cross sex hormones some of the changes wrought may be diminished but many of them, especially of course any surgeries, are irreversible. Reports that the percentage of people with regret is very low usually do not take into account the enormous and rapid increase in those identifying as transgender in the past ten years and websites to support detransitioners have attracted followers in the tens of thousands. A recent study by Dr Lisa Littman suggests that detransition is under-reported and needs to be comprehensively studied to develop alternative, non-invasive approaches to treating gender dysphoria for young people. In this interview, detransitoner Ritchie Herron describes the catastrophic effects of his gender surgery which he says was "the biggest mistake of my life." On GB News, detransitioners Keira Bell and Ritchie Herron describe the lack of information they were given about the side effects of surgery and the pressure they felt under to agree to the recommendations of their doctors and therapists. Are trans rights an extension of gay rights? Are trans rights human rights? Everyone, including transgender people, has human rights as stated by the United Nations Declaration. Trans rights activists seek to claim extra rights that others don’t have, for example, to be able to keep secret a previous identity, or to be able to prescribe how language is used. Gay rights concern the right for consenting adults to have same-sex relationships and to have the same rights as heterosexual people. Trans rights, on the other hand, seek the extra right to self-identify into a protected group and be eligible for that group’s special discretions. Gay rights accept that there are two sexes, the distinct reproductive capacity of each, and do not denmand medical or surgical treatments. Trans rights reject the science of sex and claim that what a person thinks and feels is of most importance and that those thoughts and feelings can literally transform a body into the opposite sex. Trans rights dictate that everyone adheres to the trans way of interpreting and describing gender and sex. Trans rights demand medical and surgical treatment as a right and put transgender people, often young people influenced by social media, onto a conveyor belt of lifelong medicalisation. Gay rights do not require others to forfeit anything or demand fundamental changes to everyday language. Trans rights insist on the forfeiture of single sex spaces, sports, scholarships, representation, and even language. Trans rights push to censor the words used to describe women and women’s bodies – foundational words like ‘mother’ or ‘woman’ – and replace them with dehumanising words like ‘birthing parent’, ‘bodies with vaginas’ and ‘people who menstruate’. Transgender activists are undermining gay rights by claiming same-sex attraction is really same-gender attraction and by denying biological reality. Without biological sex, there is no homosexuality. Arty Morty's December 2023 substack "The War to Annihilate Sex" looks at the gender debate from his perspective as a gay man. What is the definition of a woman? Until very recently, everyone would have answered this question with the perfectly clear dictionary definition: “adult human female.” However, in the past few years many people have become so caught up in gender ideology, or so afraid of being labelled transphobic, that they find the question impossible to answer. Despite a large number of politicians, journalists, a US Supreme Court Judge nominee, and various celebrities being unable to define the term and tying themselves in knots in the effort, every woman remains, and always will be, an “adult human female”. A female is born with the reproductive anatomy to produce eggs and bear young. Even if a female’s reproductive anatomy is incomplete or inactive, or she has had a hysterectomy, every adult human female is still a woman. Does the existence of intersex people prove sex is on a spectrum? How common are intersex conditions? Intersex should more correctly be called DSD - differences in sex development. It is a medical condition not a gender identity and therefore has nothing in common with the trans rights socio-political campaign. Intersex conditions have been co-opted by trans activists in an attempt to try to prove that sex is on a spectrum. Whether a person is male or female is the result of a complex interaction of chromosomes, genes, and hormones, and this intricate process does not always go fully to plan. In other words, some humans are born with differences in sex development (DSD). This in no way counters the fact that in the vast majority of cases – 99% – the complex process does work and humans can be reliably classified as male or female in the first trimester of pregnancy. Sex is not on a spectrum. The only time sex is “assigned” at birth is in the very rare cases where the baby’s physical genitalia are not immediately classifiable as male or female. In all other births, sex is observed and recorded at birth. A small number of people are born with ambiguous genitalia or internal organs that don’t match their chromosomes. Claims that 1.7% of people are intersex (the same as the incidence of red hair) have been inflated by including in the count those with conditions such as Klinefelter or Turner syndromes. People with these syndromes are always male (Klinefelter) or female (Turner) who have chromosomal abnormalities; they are not intersex. To retain its proper meaning, the DSD label (intersex) should be restricted to those conditions where chromosomes and genitalia are inconsistent and not classifiable as male or female. Using that criteria, the prevalence of DSD is about 0.018%. Read more here: https://resistgendereducation.substack.com/p/the-intersex-red-herring How many transgender people are there in New Zealand? A recent Statistics NZ Household Economic Survey of more than 31,000 people found that 4.2% identified as LGBT+ of which 0.8 % were transgender or non-binary. Rainbow community leaders expressed surprise that the number wasn’t higher and thought some people were unwilling to disclose their identities. The same questions will be asked in the 2023 census. Having the correct statistics for transgender people is important so we know how many people are affected by transgender issues and also how much resource should equitably be allocated to their specific needs. Do all transgender people have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria? Not any more. Gender dysphoria is a well-documented psychological condition that used to mainly affect men. Hormone and surgical treatments were devised to assist adult men and a ‘watchful waiting’ approach was taken for young people with gender dysphoria because approximately 80% come to accept their biological sex as adults. In the past twelve years two major changes have happened: Firstly, there has been an exponential rise in the number of children and teenagers attending gender transition clinics around the Western world. In the UK, over the ten years from 2009 to 2019, the increase was more than 1,400% for boys and more than 5,000% for girls, meaning girls are now far more likely to identify as transgender than are boys. Very high rates of autism, psychiatric disorders and a history of trauma had often been diagnosed in these patients before they announced they wanted to change gender. Secondly, many transgender people are claiming a new gender identity without a diagnosis of dysphoria and sometimes even without intending to have any hormonal or surgical treatment. Because of these changes, “transgender” is now an umbrella term that does include some people with diagnosed gender dysphoria, but also many people who are simply non-conforming to gender stereotypes or who like cross-dressing. Do transgender people have worse mental health problems and higher suicide rates than the general population? Counting Ourselves, a frequently quoted NZ survey of 1,100 trans and non-binary people, reported that 71% of the respondents disclosed psychological distress and 56% had thought about attempting suicide in the past 12 months, with 37% having attempted suicide at some time, but there are serious flaws in the report’s methodology and questions. These statistics are repeatedly given as irrefutable fact but Counting Ourselves, and other similar surveys, are not a random sample of a population and cannot be verified against a control group. Further, asking respondents to self-report attempted suicide is known to overestimate the rate. The report itself says “our use of nonprobability sampling means that the generalizability of our results to the wider transgender population in Aotearoa/New Zealand and beyond should be interpreted with caution”. Suicide rarely has one cause and it is difficult for studies to extricate gender dysphoria from other factors. Although trans-identified people do suffer worse mental health than the general population, they also have higher rates of anxiety, depression, trauma, and neurological conditions that usually predate the trans identity. Most surveys do not take into account pre-existing conditions or co-morbidities and simply attribute the poor mental health to being transgender. Exaggerated suicide statistics are being used as a form of emotional blackmail (“Better a live daughter than a dead son”) to push parents, clinicians, and others into acquiescing to irreversible treatments for minors. The UK Gender Identity Development Service states on its website: “The majority of the children and young people we see do not self harm, nor do they make attempts to end their own life. Although there is a higher rate of self-harm in the young people who are seen at GIDS compared to all teenagers, it is a similar rate to that seen in local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).” There is little evidence that medical transition decreases suicidality or that puberty blockers are necessary to prevent suicide. A long-term Swedish study found that post-operative transgender people have “considerably higher risks for suicidal behaviour”. A study published in the British Medical Journal in February 2024 found that suicide among young people seeking gender services in Finland is an unusual event (0.3%, or 0.51 per 1,000 person-years). The study found no convincing evidence that gender-referred youth have statistically significantly higher suicide rates as compared to the general population, after controlling for psychiatric needs. The authors concluded that "it is of utmost importance to identify and appropriately treat mental disorders in adolescents experiencing GD [gender dysphoria] to prevent suicide, while also noting that "the risk of suicide-related to transgender identity and/or GD per se may have been overestimated." What is the problem with banning conversion therapy? The Conversion Therapy Practices Prohibition Act will come into force in 2023 and is intended to protect all LGBTQIA+ people from conversion therapy, which is defined as any practice that tries to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. However, including gender identity in this Act may prevent young people from receiving the most appropriate care for their gender dysphoria. Although health practitioners are permitted to take an action if they consider “in their reasonable professional judgement it is appropriate” it is not clear whether parents and counsellors will have the same protection. Under threat of possible prosecution, some may feel forced to affirm a transgender identity instead of investigating other possible causes of gender dysphoria or delaying treatment while waiting for the patient to mature. The UK government has delayed a similar bill after the Equalities and Human Rights Commission urged careful and detailed consideration of its significant and wide-ranging implications. After announcing in January 2023 that a bill banning conversion therapy was imminent, by May 2023, the UK government has not yet introduced it.

  • Resist Gender Education | Flying Blind

    Flying Blind Watching the beliefs of gender identity ideology becoming entrenched in our education system has led many parents and teachers to question what rights they have when faced with this ideology: Can the school keep it a secret if my child adopts a transgender identity at school? Could our family be investigated by Oranga Tamariki if we refuse to go along with social transitioning? How can we protect our child from being taught transgender beliefs in classes right across the curriculum? Would parents be informed if an opposite sex student was enrolled in a single-sex school and was using facilities with the other students? What happens if a teacher refuses to teach that sex is on a spectrum? Do students or staff have the right to ask others to use their preferred opposite sex or neo pronouns (as that is their protected belief) AND is there a matching right for students and staff to decline to do so (as that is their protected belief)? We put these, and several other burning questions, into Official Information Act requests to various government bodies. We asked what legal advice had been sought before gender identity policies were implemented , and received these full and frank answers: The Ministry of Education : The Ministry has not sought any legal advice in relation to the specific questions mentioned in your request and therefore your request has been refused under Section 18(e) of the Act. The Ministry of Justice : The Ministry of Justice does not hold any of the information you have requested, therefore I must refuse your request under section 18(e) of the Act. The Attorney-General : Crown Law has searched its records and can find no record of any legal advice on the above questions. The Teaching Council : We have considered your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) and I can advise as follows. As we have neither sought or received any legal advice in relation to any of these questions, we must refuse your request under section 18(e) of the OIA - as the information sought does not exist. You get the picture… Although there are obvious clashes between the Care of Children Act, the Privacy Act, the Human Rights Act, and the Bill of Rights, our education, welfare and justice systems have not asked even the most basic questions about the legal implications of gender ideology. Aotearoa is flying blindly into an ideological storm and a medical scandal with no-one in the pilot’s seat. Parents’ rights are limited We did get some proper, although bleak, answers from the Privacy Commissioner: The Privacy Act 2020 doesn’t differentiate between children and adults – each individual has their own privacy rights, and accordingly, parents are not automatically allowed to receive information about their children. Our Office considers matters on a case-by-case basis, but generally speaking, a trans* child has their own right to privacy. It’s up to them if they’re willing to share the information with a parent or guardian. The Care of Children Act doesn’t override the child’s right to privacy. Parents and guardians can still be informed about their child’s care and education, without needing to be informed of a trans* child’s identity before they are willing or able to share that with them. Under the Privacy Act, an individual can only request their personal information (subject to authorising someone else to do so on their behalf), so there is no right to be ‘informed’ of any student’s sex. This advice concurs with the legal opinion we had sought earlier. You can read the summary of it here and a testimonial here that describes the devastating effect of this policy on one family. Many parents will be shocked to learn that a school may choose to keep their child’s gender transition at school a secret while at the same time seeking permission from parents before providing panadol. Errant parents need coaching If privacy law is not bleak enough, the response from Oranga Tamariki to our question about families being investigated if they refuse to go along with social transitioning adds further gloom: Oranga Tamariki takes all allegations of harm seriously and if an individual has concerns for the wellbeing of tamariki, it is our role to assess them. In the scenario described in your request, part of our assessment focus would be on the relationship between the tamariki and their parent/guardian to understand the seriousness of the differences that exist that might stem from interpersonal disputes or different belief systems within their household around the chosen gender identity of te tamaiti and whether these are care and protection concerns… Gender identity is self-defined. It is a person’s internal, deeply felt sense of being male, female, gender queer, trans, non-binary, gender fluid or other. We must be respectful of an individual’s gender identity, particularly in regard to recording gender identity for children, young people and others… Finally, support and acceptance from parents and whanau or family is crucial for the well-being of gender-diverse tamariki and rangatahi. They may struggle to understand and accept the identity needs of their tamaiti or rangatahi and may need help to understand how to support them. (Emphasis added) So that’s a ‘yes’ to our question – families certainly could be investigated if they do not believe in soul-like gender identities and refuse to go along with harmful social transitioning. Oranga Tamariki cites the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) in defence of its policy, incorrectly stating that the UNCRoC’s support for children’s freedom of expression includes gender diversity and sexuality. In truth, the Convention does not mention either concept (it was written in 1989, after all) and states in Article 12: States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child. (Emphasis added). and, tellingly, in Article 14: States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child. (Emphasis added) Blatantly re-interpreting the UNCRoC to suit its own agenda, Oranga Tamariki informed us: These rights are embedded in the principles of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, and reflected in the National Care Standards Regulations, which specify that gender identity and sexual orientation are part of identity and cultural needs. This leaves parents with a duty of care towards their children that they are unable to fully exercise because it is being actively usurped by the policies of Oranga Tamariki and other government agencies. Re-education for teachers If parents are in a no-win situation, what about teachers who don’t want to teach or implement the ideology? To our question about what rights teachers or schools might have to decline to teach gender identity ideology, the Ministry of Education responded with guidance on how teachers could re-educate themselves: The Ministry of Education provides guidance to teachers who may feel uncomfortable with topics in relationship and sexuality education. We suggest that it may be useful for teachers to support each other (or seek extra support from others) if needed to reflect upon teaching practice in relation to feeling uncomfortable or being in conflict with their values, attitudes and beliefs. This will help teachers to think critically about the questions and responses they are providing in class when these feelings arise . We note that it is important for students to see adults model that it is okay to talk about relationship and sexuality-related topics, and that a non-biased, non-judgemental, open and respectful approach is needed for this learning. (Emphasis added) The message to teachers is clear and is further reinforced by the Standards for the Teaching Profession that teachers are measured against every three years in order to renew their Practising Certificates. In a response to a similar OIA question in 2020, the Teaching Council stated: Our definition of Cultural Capability includes the statement: ‘a focus on cultural capability requires teachers and kaiako to recognise diversity of identities - including culture, gender, sexuality and ability - and to take action to amplify the views of those and their communities who have been marginalised .’… Teacher practices that embody these aspects of the code range from creating a safe classroom environment through to using the correct pronouns for each learner’s gender identity … Neglecting to uphold high quality teaching and learning or to create an inclusive learning culture is in breach of the Code . (Emphases added) Although not all schools are yet under the spell of gender ideology, in those schools that have heartily embraced the vogue, teachers are in an invidious position - toe the Ministry line or risk losing your profession. Opting out is not an option In response to our question about teachers or schools being permitted to opt out of pronoun choices and mixed sex changing rooms, the Ministry of Education re-iterated the information in its Relationship and Sexuality Guide : …we expect school policies and practices to protect and promote the safety and inclusion of all students, including transgender and non-binary students. Schools can do this by: Supporting transgender students to use the facilities (e.g. bathrooms and changing rooms) they feel safe and comfortable using; Ensuring transgender and non-binary students are supported to engage in sport and other physical activity in a way that is safe and inclusive; and Upholding transgender, intersex and non-binary students’ privacy by confirming the student’s wishes around what name and gender identity they would like used at school and in communication with parents and whānau. So that’s a ‘no’ to teachers being able to opt out and a ‘no’ to any consideration of the needs of students who are not transgender or non-binary. It also directly contradicts the Bill of Rights protection to hold (or not hold) a personal belief, without discrimination. Sex-based rights disappear We leave the last word to the Human Rights Commission. In its response, after accurately stating that the Human Rights Act “ prohibits discrimination against others on account of their race, colour, sex, disability and sexual orientation among others ”, the Commission boldly re-interprets that Act to include gender identity. It correctly advises that “ the protections that exist under the act for minorities and other vulnerable groups in society are not intended to limit the rights of others ”, and then asserts that women’s rights are not compromised by male-bodied people claiming them. The rights of cis women and trans women are not mutually exclusive under the Human Rights Act, and the Commission takes its role in promoting all women’s rights very seriously… The Commission’s PRISM report highlights the importance, to trans youth in particular, of the right to safely use a facility that matches their gender (see page 50 of the Commission’s 2020 Prism report )… The application of section 49 is determined on a case-by-case basis. Transgender people, like all people, have the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity and expression. A restriction on that right can only be justified to the extent that it is necessary and proportionate. The onus is on those wanting to exclude trans people – for example, trans women from women’s sport – to make the case for doing so. The HRC recommends that “ Complaints about discrimination between trans and cis women or girls… can be made to the Human Rights Commission’s dispute resolution service .” In other words, in the view of the HRC there are no longer any sex-based rights. Every single time safety, dignity, or fairness for women is compromised, an individual complaint must be made and will be assessed on its own merits, not in accordance with any overarching principle. Untested laws Until very recently, most of us would have felt confident that our parental, civil, and women’s rights were firmly protected under the Care of Children Act, the Human Rights Act, and the Bill of Rights. However, the answers to our OIA questions demonstrate that none of these rights are backed up by any confirming case law and are therefore on very shaky ground and wide open to trendy and reckless interpretations by our institutions. Despite the Ministry of Education in its 2020 OIA response stating categorically “ The Ministry of Education in New Zealand is not involved in the medical facilitation of transition ”, its policies blithely encourage schools to do just that, for example in this guide from the Hutt Valley High School website. In the same response, the Ministry repeatedly asserts “ The Ministry of Education takes an evidence-based approach to procurement and development and it relies on the knowledge and experience of our reputable experts in respective areas .” In its circular consultations only with a small group of organisations that agree with gender beliefs, one of the ‘reputable experts’ the MoE relies upon is the Human Rights Commission which promulgates its own interpretation of the Human Rights Act – what it would like the Act to say, rather than what it actually says. Unfortunately, our institutions are so captured by gender identity ideology that, if your family has been detrimentally affected by these government policies, the only recourse you may have is to complain to the Ombudsman or to take a case to court.

  • Resist Gender Education | A letter to the teacher

    A letter to the teacher Kia ora [teacher] Regarding the health curriculum, we are happy for [child] to learn about puberty, gay, lesbian and bisexual sexualities, reproduction, menstruation, conception etc. We wish to opt [child] out of any discussion about gender identities. We consider gender theory (the idea that everyone has an inner feeling known as a gender identity and that this subjective feeling should be prioritised in law and policy over biological sex) unscientific, sexist and homophobic. For example the book " Jack (Not Jackie)" promotes the sexist idea that if you are a girl and you don't conform with sex stereotypes, then you must really be a boy. A better book (and one that was included in the Navigating the Journey materials and is probably in our school's collection) is " My Princess Boy" . This story is about a boy who doesn't conform with sex stereotypes (he likes pink and wearing dresses). His family accept his non-conformity and there is no suggestion that his gender non-conformity means he is any less a boy or that he has magically changed sex. We also think it is important for boys and young men to learn to respect females' boundaries, to understand that girls and women have the right to say no to males - however those males might identify - who might wish to access spaces reserved for females. Young girls should also be taught that they are allowed to set boundaries. It would also be healthy for boys to be taught to be more accommodating and accepting of males who don't conform with sex stereotypes. We also have concerns about the affirmation approach that underpins the school curriculum (affirming the cross-sex identity of children experiencing gender dysphoria by for example requiring others to use preferred pronouns). NZ's Ministry of Health is currrently conducting a review of evidence for treatment of gender dysphoria in children and it would be prudent for schools to be cautious about promoting any particular approach in the absence of a good evidence base. I mention this as your synopsis includes the discussion topic "Community actions to make everyone safe, comfortable, and included", and in my experience this has meant promoting use of opposite sex pronouns (or neo pronouns) or using opposite sex bathrooms/changing rooms. We teach our kids that everybody is equally deserving of kindness, regardless of how they identify. However, treating other people well does not require that we share in their subjective beliefs about themselves. For example we are atheists but we respect the right of other people to hold their religious or spiritual beliefs. Ngā mihi etc

  • Resist Gender Education | Books to avoid

    Books to avoid There are many more books than these ones – we have listed only some examples that are readily available in NZ libraries. In this web article, Transgender Trend asks "What's the harm in trans picture books for children?" and critiques a long list of those that have been recently published. The Daily Mail covers the same topic. The Birds and the Bees. Our review of this app that is available online to any children and is inappropriately recommended by its developers for children from the age of 12. The Gender Book by Cassandra Corrigan. In this post from Transgender Trend, a child psychologist warns that this picture book "reinforces stereotypes at every turn and never explains what it really means to 'feel like a girl' or 'feel ike a boy'. Children are left to assume it must be down to the high heels and tool box. Which of course, they will believe, because they are children and they believe what we tell them." In My Daddy's Belly by Logan Brown. The book is described online as a "heartwarming story about two Dads eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child", although of course, the pregnant "Dad" is actually the baby's mother. Welcome to Sex by Dr Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes is marketed as “a frank, age-appropriate introductory guide to sex and sexuality for teens of all genders”, but there is growing opposition to its graphic contents, including oral and anal sex, hand jobs and rimming, being promoted as suitable for children as young as eight. Susan McLean, a cyber security expert has written here about the irresponsible advice given in the book to make sure the head is cropped when sending nude pictures. “This is dangerous advice that could be read by some as suggesting it is OK to send a headless nude… Young people can still be blackmailed, bullied, betrayed, and charged after sending a headless nude. As adults, we must do better than brush over behaviour that is considered criminal and will in almost all cases end in tears despite what the authors believe.” Call me Max by Kyle Lukoff (2019) A complete training in gender ideology including the notion that a mistake was made with your identity when you were born. It Feels Good to Be Yourself by Theresa Thorn (2019) A picture book that introduces the concept of gender identity to the youngest readers. My Dad Thinks I’m a Boy! By Sophie Labelle (2020) Stephie (Stephen’s) Dad has been mistaking ‘her’ for a boy since ‘she’ was born. This is billed as a “transpositive children’s book that shows children that no one else than ourselves gets to decide who we are.” Phoenix goes to School: A story to support transgender and gender diverse children (ages 3-7) by Michelle Finch and Phoenix Finch (2018) Phoenix is preparing for her first day of school. She is excited but scared of being bullied because of her gender identity and expression. Yet when she arrives at school, she finds help and support from teachers and friends, and finds she is brave enough to talk to other kids about her gender! Who are You?: The kid’s guide to gender identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee (2017) A brightly illustrated introduction to gender for ages 3+, that teaches about gender identity and “how we express ourselves through our clothes and hobbies." The Pronoun Book: She, he, they, and me! by Cassandra Jules Corrigan. ‘Educates’ children 5 years plus on pronouns and misgendering. Talks of being assigned a sex at birth. (Electronic) Kisses for Jet: a coming-of-gender story by Joris Bas Backer (2022) Like most teenagers in the 90s, Jet is obsessed with Kurt Cobain, which helps them get through boarding at the international school their parents have sent them to. Jet begins to notice that they don’t feel like the other girls in the class and to realise that they may be more of a boy than a girl. (Graphic novel) Identity: A story of transitioning by Corey Maison (Comic book for teens.) Corey, born female, ‘transitions’ to boy with her mother’s support. Rick by Alex Gino (2020) Rick's arrived at middle school, and new doors are opening. One of them leads to the school's Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities congregate, including Melissa, the girl who sits in front of Rick in class and seems to have her life together. Rick wants his own life to be that . . . understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones. Author Alex Gino explores what it means to search for your own place in the world . . . and all the steps you and the people around you need to take in order to get where you need to be. Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution: The story of Trans women of colour who made LGBT+ History by Joy Ellison (Electronic) Incorrectly attributes the beginnings of gay rights to actions by transwomen at Stonewall, New York. Our 15 Favourite LGBTQ Books for Kids and Teens Worthwhile children’s books depicting a variety of family groups (including parents who are same sex, single, or grandparents) are now being superseded by books that “normalise” decidedly damaging practices such as double mastectomies. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/15-lgbtq-books-for-kids-and-teens/

  • Resist Gender Education | Relationship and Sexuality Education – an Alternative

    Relationship and Sexuality Education – an Alternative We all agree that young people need truthful and positive education about their bodies, sexuality, reproduction and contraception. But lately many parents have become concerned about the content of some of the health lessons being provided to their tamariki. Parents have noticed that beliefs and values they do not subscribe to are being taught to their children as facts. Some of the topics, although important for children to know as they mature, are being taught at a disturbingly young age. Also, some content coaches children to take part in actions for social change, without reference to the wide range of values in the community. It is important that young children are taught to be accepting of difference but there is no need to mention gender identities or transgenderism at an early age. Discussion of such ideas properly belongs with older students, near or during puberty, and then they should be presented in a balanced way, as with any subject that is contentious, with the beliefs and values of parents being equally respected. Young children do not need lengthy expositions about gender identity. This resource, adapted from the Ministry of Education’s Relationship and Sexuality Guidelines (2020), provides an outline of age-appropriate relationship and sexuality education that is respectful of the values of all individuals and whānau. Key learning at Curriculum Level 1 - Years 1 & 2 (5 - 7 years old) Our suggested Level 1 Lesson plans can be found here Key learning at Curriculum Level 2 - Years 3 & 4 (8 – 9 years old) Our suggested Level 2 Lesson plans can be found here Key learning at Curriculum Level 3 - Years 5 & 6 (10 - 11 years old) Our suggested Level 3 Lesson plans can be found here Key learning at Curriculum Level 4 - Years 7 & 8 (12 - 13 years old) Our suggested Level 4 Lesson plans can be found here Key learning at Curriculum Level 5 - Years 9 & 10 (14 - 15 years old) Our suggested Level 5 Lesson plans can be found here

  • Resist Gender Education | Navigating the Journey

    Navigating the Journey Family Planning believes young people have the right to “honest, accurate, and age-appropriate information about sexuality.” Their resource, Navigating the Journey , is provided for this purpose and is used in over 30% of New Zealand schools. https://www.familyplanning.org.nz/catalog/resources This programme is intended for children from year 1 to year 10 with the aim of promoting the wellbeing of young people and to help them develop healthy, consensual, and respectful relationships. While containing many worthwhile activities, the resource is not accurate or age-appropriate when it comes to sex and gender. The lessons present gender ideology as fact, without reference to gender identity being something some people believe but not the majority. Heterosexuality is only mentioned negatively. The programme is divided into lessons for Years 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 , and 9-10, after which Health ceases to be a compulsory subject in schools. The same problems are evident at all levels of the lesson plans: Factual inaccuracies From Year One, children are taught that there are more sexes than male and female by incorrectly using intersex (a medical condition) as proof. (see our FAQ on intersex conditions here .) Further, they are taught incorrect biology: Turn around if you think everyone who has a period identifies as a girl. (NO) (p59 Y5-6) Sit down if you think some boys start growing breasts during puberty. (YES) (p59 Y5-6) Do our body parts define who we are? (No. Some people with penises might feel more like girls and some people who identify as boys might have female body parts.) (p63 Y5-6) Appendix 19 (Y5-6)has labelled drawings of reproductive parts, but no label to say they are male or female. The discussion about periods in Appendix 26 (Y5-6) refers to people getting periods, not girls getting periods. The false and unscientific phrase “Sex assigned at birth” is used repeatedly. (eg p30 Y7-8) A recommended video states that when you’re born, grown-ups make a “guess” and who you are can change from day to day Who Are You? - Book Reading - YouTube . (p38 Y3-4) On p50 (Y7-8) the suggested discussion questions depict the battle for gay rights as still in full swing when it was won 20 years ago. The rare condition of intersex is elevated to mainstream. At an incidence of 0.018% in the population, intersex doesn’t deserve to be listed alongside male and female (p30 Y7-8) Belief taught as fact “Other people may be born with female or male bodies, but as they grow up, they identify as being of the opposite gender, or of neither gender. The term for this is “transgender” or “non-binary”. (p33 Y7-8) A healthier message without labelling people would be: “They are gender nonconforming and that’s ok.” Introducing Teddy - YouTube (Y3-4) “only you know who you are on the inside” apparently your parents don’t know you! Also reinforces that if a person (teddy in this case) goes against gender stereotypes (a bow in the hair), then they’re actually the other sex. Erasure of sex categories The language is clunky, confusing and ideological. If they kept it to the basics – male/female, gay/straight and said, “Just be you and ignore stereotypes,” the message would be a lot clearer and far more positive for everyone. Occasionally man/male/boyfriend and woman/female/girlfriend appear but mostly these terms are removed and this makes for very clunky terminology and explanations like “people who have a penis”, “young people can get pregnant”, 'Sex' and 'gender' are sometimes used interchangeably, sometimes as very separate things (see pp32 and 30 Y7-8), and sometimes falsely, as when the male/female labels are removed from diagrams of reproductive parts " to support the discussion of sexual diversity ". They mean to enforce the idea of gender identity. (p66 Y7-8) Stereotypes reinforced Students are encouraged to challenge stereotypes (good!) but they are also relied upon to prove gender ideology. “…too much exposure to stereotypical characters can affect how we perceive women and men and our expectations of what it is to be a woman or man. They can even shape how we see ourselves. It can be challenging for those who don’t see themselves as female, male, girl, boy, woman, or man.” (p31 Y7-8) A big opportunity has been missed to tell kids that stereotypes don’t matter, and that you can be yourself without worrying about labels. “Do our body parts define who we are? (No. Some people with penises might feel more like girls and some people who identify as boys might have female body parts.)” (p68 Y7-8) If we are ignoring stereotypes, why are we labelling ourselves at all? Lack of inclusion Only non-heterosexual relationships are noted as worthy of celebration. The rare times heterosexuality is referenced it is ridiculed (p31) or treated as oppressive (p49 Y7-8). In the Understanding gender and stereotypes lesson (pp29-34 Y7-8) – the heterosexual couples are from fairytales while the intended learning aims resources are all for other sexualities. Apparently including ‘everyone’ excludes heterosexual people. The activities that ask students to, “ visualize being straight in a gay society and imagine how you feel” and “c ompare heterosexual and homosexual couples in different situations ” , treat heterosexual people as oppressors and have the potential to create divisions between children where there previously were none. p49 (Y7-8) Risk of isolation Activities that put students in small groups and make them stand and move to make their opinions or knowledge known are prime opportunities for creating embarrassment and isolation. (p46, 58, 59 Y7-8) Seeds of doubt Navigating the Journey plants seeds of doubt in vulnerable children's minds by saturating them with gender ideology, normalising stereotypes, and promoting gender identity labels. Children are manipulated into wanting to find a label for themselves so they can also be celebrated as special. Children need to be left alone without labels, because 80% of gender confused kids find peace with their bodies after going through puberty. The focus on transgender identities is confusing and obscures the simple fact that to be inclusive is to accept everyone the way they are without labels. When the resource asks, “ What are some things that we could do as a community to make sure everybody feels comfortable and safe, whatever their identity? ” the answer surely is, "How about lose the labels and stereotypes and let kids be kids? " Conclusion This programme is politicising children, turning them into little social justice warriors to fight a battle that doesn’t exist. The number one thing that could be done to improve acceptance of others is to remove gender ideology from schools and promote simple inclusivity of everyone, with no labels. Instead, students are told that their body concerns may be kept confidential from their parents and they are encouraged to find a wide range of other support people. Among the support sources cited is Rainbow Youth which encourages children who are uncomfortable in their bodies to transition. Worksheets are available for parents and caregivers but do not include any of the above information. There is no acknowledgement of the credentials of the authors of Navigating the Journey . Parents should be aware that untruths are being taught about biology, identity, and gender. Schools do not have to ask for parents’ permission for their child to be included in this programme but parents do have the right to withdraw them. For more information read Your Rights as a Parent .

  • Resist Gender Education | Lesson Plans

    Lesson Plans In consultation with parents and teachers, we have created some suggested lesson plans for each Curriculum Level to provide guidance in how to approach teaching relationships and sexuality in a way that provides accurate and age-appropriate information for students. Our resources confirm that mammals have two sexes – male and female – but only humans have gender which is the particular way that males and females are expected to behave according to their culture and time. Although a person may change their gendered behaviour, their sex persists throughout life. We use body positivity principles. We support the rights of individuals to express themselves as they wish, to be treated with sympathy and care, and not to be taught that their personality or their body is wrong and in need of changing. We do not reinforce harmful stereotypes, for instance by affirming that children might be a different sex based on their hobbies or the clothes they prefer to wear. While boys and girls may dress, behave, and have interests as they wish, the sex they were born as remains the same. Download our lesson plans below RSE CL1 Lesson Plans RSE_CL1_Lesson_Plans final .pdf Download PDF • 232KB RSE CL2 Lesson Plans RSE_CL2_Lesson_Plans final .pdf Download PDF • 192KB RSE CL3 Lesson Plans RSE CL3 Lesson Plans .pdf Download PDF • 218KB RSE CL4 Lesson Plans RSE_CL4_Lesson_Plans final .pdf Download PDF • 230KB RSE CL5 Lesson Plans RSE_CL5_Lesson_Plans final .pdf Download PDF • 271KB Question Flowchart RSE Question Flowchart .pdf Download PDF • 221KB

  • Ministry Guide promotes body dissociation

    The Relationship and Sexuality Education Guide (RSE Guide) for teachers, school leaders, and boards of trustees, produced by the New Zealand Ministry of Education and published in September 2020, not only accepts but actively promotes the ideas of gender identity and gender diversity and encourages schools to focus on being a safe place for lgbtqi+ students. The authors of the guide reveal themselves to be totally captured by gender ideology, and the guide promulgates this ideology at every point. In this regard, it is a highly politicised document that is pushing an agenda with which the majority of the population is unfamiliar and for which there is no evidential basis. There is no recognition in the guide that there is a strongly critical international movement which completely rejects gender ideology. This movement includes academics, psychotherapists, social workers, scientists, doctors, teachers, parents, people who identify as transgender, and detransitioners. They all reject the notion that it is possible to change sex the idea that gender identity is real the language that says biological sex is “assigned” at birth the idea that there is a male brain and a female brain state schools promoting a belief system as if it is fact state schools forcing staff and students to acknowledge and affirm people’s self-identification of gender the deception involved in assisting school age children to socially transition and to keep this secret from their families the “affirm only” approach which leaves no room to encourage a child to explore their gender expression and any confusion they may feel when their feelings and preferred behaviour do not fit with sex role stereotypes outdated sex role stereotypes being used to encourage children to believe that they may have been born into the wrong body giving primacy to a concept (gender) over a reality (biological sex) children being set on a path of surgical intervention and lifelong dependence on pharmaceuticals before they are legally old enough to understand the consequences the proposition that ‘social transition’ is harmless and in a child’s best interests that there is ever a case for suggesting that permanently changing and damaging a healthy body is an acceptable response to any form of mental and emotional distress that it is ever acceptable to lie to a child and pretend that they are something they are not. Teaching gender identity across the curriculum The RSE guide encourages the teaching of gender ideology as fact from Year 1. Five year olds are to be taught to “Understand the relationship between gender, identity and wellbeing” and the concept of ‘gender identity’ and that people can change their sex is reinforced every single year thereafter. (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 30) Level 2: Akonga can show that they: Are able to identify gender stereotypes, understand the difference between sex and gender, and know that there are diverse gender and sexual identities in society. (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 31) Level 3: Akonga can show that they: Understand how communities develop and use inclusive practices to support gender and sexual diversity. (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 32) Level 4: Akonga can show that they: Know about pubertal change (including hormonal changes, menstruation, body development, and the development of gender identities), and about how pubertal change relates to social norms around gender and sexuality; and can make plans to support their own wellbeing and that of others. (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 33) Level 5: Akonga can show that they: Know about a range of cultural approaches to issues of gender and sexuality and how these relate to holistic understandings of wellbeing, eg, in terms of: varying perspectives on contraception and reproduction for different people, such as teens, heterosexual couples, same-sex couples, and single parents or cultural, generational, and personal values related to gender and sexual identities. (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 9-13 Pg 36) Level 6 : Akonga can show that they: Are able to examine how gender and sexual identities can shift in different contexts and over time, and understand how these identities can be affected by relationships, family, media, popular culture, religion, spirituality, and youth cultures. (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 9-13 Pg 37) Level 7 : Akonga can show that they: Understand how sex, gender, and sexuality might change across the lifespan (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 9-13 Pg 38) Schools are prompted to adhere to gender beliefs in everyday practices: Programmes should acknowledge gender and sexual diversity and make sure that a range of identities is visible in resources. Ākonga should be addressed by their preferred name and pronouns. Teachers can reflect on and change exclusionary practices such as lining up in girls’ and boys’ lines, requiring students to place bags in girls’ or boys’ categories, or organising class groups according to gender binaries. (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 36) Further, the RSE Guide recommends embedding the concept of gender into all areas of the curriculum: While RSE concepts and content will be specifically taught in health education and supported in physical education, there are many opportunities for RSE across the New Zealand Curriculum. (Examples are given of how to do this in physical education, English, science, technology, social sciences, the arts, languages, and mathematics and statistics.) ( Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 28-29) The Guide does not draw attention to how the right of parents to withdraw their children from sexuality and relationship education classes will be impacted by this ‘embedding’ recommendation, and thus does not suggest how parents’ rights in this regard might be respected. Although the Guide correctly states that schools must consult parents about the content of relationship and sexuality lessons, there is no question that the practice of embedding the topics throughout the curriculum thwarts the ability of parents to opt their children out of specific lessons. [1] The Guide asserts that Many ākonga at primary and intermediate schools are thinking about their gender identities, and some are aware of their sexual orientation . (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 35) We would suggest that while awareness of sexual orientation is often (but not always) innate, children are only thinking about their gender identities because that is a concept that school introduces them to in their first year at school and continues to reinforce in all subsequent years. Teaching belief as fact The RSE Guide promotes as fact the idea that a person’s feeling of being masculine, feminine, or neither, is more important than their physical sexed body. The phrase “assigned sex at birth” is referred to multiple times and, along with the use of words such as “cisgender” and “gender fluid”, demonstrates how the Guide has completely adopted the language of gender Ideology, and uses words which are offensive to many people world-wide who do not share this ideological belief. The scientific evidence is very clear that there are two, and only two, distinct biological sexes. Sex is not an assumption and is not “assigned at birth” – it is observed and recorded. Teaching these falsehoods means children are learning to genuinely believe that it is possible to be born in the wrong body and that a person can actually – literally – change their sex. Schools should be promoting body positive messages, not the idea that non-conformity to gender stereotypes means that a child’s personality or body is wrong. Children should not be led to believe that they need to change their body, bind their breasts, or wear different clothes to match a regressive sex stereotype. Confusing and contradictory definitions The glossary for the RSE Guide for both Years 1-8 and Years 9-13 is confusing to say the least: (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 48-50) Sexual orientation: A person’s sexual identity in relation to the gender or genders to which they are attracted. Sexual orientation and gender identity are two different things. Sexual orientation can be fluid for some people. Lesbian: A woman who is emotionally and sexually attracted to other women. This is used as both a personal identity and a community identity. Gay: A person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to the same gender. This is more widely used by men than women and can be both a personal and community identity. Bisexual: A person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to more than one gender. According to this guide, sexual orientation is about which gender a person is sexually attracted to. Any adult and many children can see the contradiction in sexual orientation being described as attraction to a gender. We all know that sexual orientation refers to the sex one is attracted to. Gender is an irrelevant concept when talking about sexual orientation. There is no acknowledgement at all given to the clear and consistent opposition by lesbian and gay organisations to the idea of lesbians and gays being same gender attracted [2] . Nor is there any recognition that for young lesbians and gays the idea that they ought to be attracted to the males and females who identify as the opposite sex is distressing and confusing . Of course, in the gender identity world, gender is fluid and can change over one’s life as defined below: Gender: Gender is an individual identity related to a continuum of masculinities and femininities. A person’s gender is not fixed or immutable. Gender binary (male/female binary): The (incorrect) assumption that there are only two genders (girl/boy or man/woman) Gender fluid: Describes a person whose gender changes over time and can go back and forth. The frequency of these changes depends on the individual. Sex assigned at birth: All babies are assigned a sex at birth, usually determined by a visual observation of external genitalia. A person’s gender may or may not align with their sex assigned at birth. Transgender (trans): This term describes a wide variety of people whose gender is different from the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender people may be binary or non-binary, and some opt for some form of medical intervention (such as hormone therapy or surgery). The writers of the glossary seem oblivious to the incoherence of saying that gender is not binary while at the same time believing trans people can change from one side of the binary to the other (multiple times) or can be non-binary. If there is no such thing as the gender binary, doesn’t that make everyone non-binary? Missing from the glossary are the definitions of words which reflect biology such as male and female. It is challenging to imagine how biology and reproduction will be taught in this brave new world! (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 48-49) & (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 9-13 Pg 53-54) Eroding parents’ rights The RSE guide encourages schools to socially transition children without necessarily seeking parental consent. Socially transitioning a child is not an isolated act without consequence – it is the first step in a very serious, complex and life-changing process about which parents ought to be fully informed. Gender ideology supporters also specifically encourage gender-questioning children to speak to Rainbow organisations, peers, or an ‘online family’ rather than their parents. In some schools, advice about using binders or starting on hormones is being provided to students by teachers who are not medically qualified. The RSE guide appears to endorse this approach, not once stating that schools should inform or seek parental permission before using a student’s preferred name or pronouns. Where students need access to ‘support services’ and these cannot be accessed onsite, the guide specifies that students should be supported in seeking access to professionals outside of the school with no mention made of seeking parental consent. (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 19; Pg 22) The question of pronouns A child changing pronouns is the beginning of social transition. Asking students and teachers to use ‘preferred pronouns’ may appear to be kind and inclusive, but in reality is forcing other people to adhere to a belief system they may not agree with. Preferred pronouns can cause tension and conflict through the fear, or in the event, of someone making a mistake. They cement the social transition of a child, making it harder for them to later change their mind. Some gender non-conforming children may feel forced to choose different pronouns to avoid scrutiny from bullies. Preferred pronouns reinforce the incorrect idea that people can change their sex. When the school encourages their use, they are promoting gender ideology as fact rather than belief. It is difficult to see this as anything other than ideological indoctrination. Safe-guarding Issues The RSE guide recommends, “Ideally, schools will have at least one gender-neutral toilet available for akonga, but trans, non-binary, and intersex akonga should not be required to use this rather than male or female toilets.” This is an extraordinary double standard and creates a significant safe-guarding issue. Trans, non-binary, and intersex children can choose which toilets and changing rooms they use but girls are forced to accept males (who say they are really girls) in their toilets and changing rooms. Teaching girls that a boy really can become a girl trains them to suppress their instinctual caution and override their embarrassment and natural discomfort with having boys in their single sex spaces. It says that what girls want or feel doesn’t matter, and that they have no right to set their own boundaries. Absolutely no consideration is given to the comfort or dignity of girls who do not want to share intimate spaces with male-bodied people and who have the right to set such boundaries. This statement clearly prioritises the needs of children who believe they are trans over those who don’t. Gender questioning children need privacy and dignity just the same as other students. To that end, the school should ensure there are some unisex facilities for these students to utilise, but they should continue to offer single sex facilities as well. Boys and girls alike deserve a single-sex shared space where they can get changed and be comfortable together. Students are entitled to sex-segregated changing rooms, especially when some children, in particular those who are beginning puberty, are experiencing significant bodily changes. (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 20- 22) Outside Providers The Guide is clear that it is not considered best practice to hand over the responsibility for RSE programmes to outside providers and there are a number of questions they suggest should be asked such as “ How is this provider funded and what is its purpose for existing? What is its agenda? ” And “ Schools should evaluate the programmes and services provided by outside agencies alongside their in-school learning programmes” . (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 1-8 Pg 34 & Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide: Years 9-12 Pg 40) Despite these previous cautions, In April 2022 the Ministry of Education issued new resources designed to provide further support for teaching relationships and sexuality education in schools. As part of this update schools are urged to “use resources from trusted organisations like InsideOUT or RainbowYOUTH”. Many of the third party activist groups that are endorsed by the Ministry have links on their pages that lead children to ever more extreme versions of gender ideology. These rainbow lobby groups universally glamourise the concept of being trans and convince children it is possible and even easy and desirable to change sex. (Refer Relationships and Sexuality Education Guidelines: Years 7-10 Pg 21) Conclusion The RSE guide sets out many values with which most New Zealanders will agree, in terms of inclusiveness, safety and respect, and it deals with issues such as pornography and online abuse that are unfortunately highly relevant in today’s world. However, its heavy focus on gender theory is hazardous for children. Many schools are now constantly promoting, in every facet of school life, the disorder of body dissociation as an ideal, chosen identity. Gender ideology communicates to children that some identities are more or less fashionable or desirable. Children who adopt a gender identity are constantly praised, put on a pedestal and celebrated; whilst lesbian, gay or heterosexual children are painted as privileged, boring, or undesirable. Placing so much significance on gender identity creates a breeding ground for social contagion and a consequent sharp increase in students developing gender dysphoria. Affirmation of a trans identity is not kind. On the contrary it confirms to a child that they are the wrong sex and encourages their belief that their body needs to be changed. Medical intervention can only ever effect cosmetic change; the child’s sex remains the same. Other children should not be coerced into expressing a belief in ‘gender identity’ through the threat that not to do so is ‘unkind’ or ‘transphobic’. Schools should be teaching that no child is born in the wrong body and that children can reject gender stereotypes and be their authentic selves without discrimination, labelling, or medical intervention to ‘fix’ them. [1] https://parents.education.govt.nz/primary-school/learning-at-school/sexuality-education/ [2] https://lgballiance.org.uk/about/ https://www.lesbians-united.org/about.html https://lesbianalliance.org.uk/ What do gender identity supporters believe? Gender identity activism is based on a belief that everyone has an innate sense of being masculine, feminine, or neither, and that this feeling does not always correlate with their sexed bodies. They believe that a person’s gender identity should take precedence over their observable sex and that everyone else must accept their self-identification. There is a range of views within gender identity activism, with some acknowledging that sex is an objective classification and others contending that sex is on a spectrum and that binary classifications are scientifically false. The more extreme activists say that there are hundreds or thousands of distinct and legitimate gender identities, all of which should be recognised by others. Extreme trans activists demand that the subjective concept of gender identity should replace the objective reality of sex in all government policy and law. For example, NZ law now allows anyone (including children) to have their birth certificate changed (multiple times) to the sex they self-declare. The fact that the birth certificate has been changed is permanently hidden from public view. Arty Morty's December 2023 substack, The War to Annihilate Sex clearly explains both sides of the debate and what is at stake. How do gender identity beliefs affect NZ schools? The Ministry of Education published the updated Relationship and Sexuality Education Guidelines (RSE) in September 2020 which is heavily supportive of gender identity thinking. Our critique of the Guidelines is here. The Guidelines are based on Gender Identity Theory that argues that everyone has an inner feeling of masculinity, femininity, or neither that is known only to themselves and should be automatically affirmed by others, including at school. The alternative explanation for gender distress, the Developmental Model Theory, is not mentioned at all. This theory recognises that there is a very long history of people developing behaviours to manage distress and becoming fixated on them - such as obsessive compulsive disorder, anorexia, cutting and now gender dysphoria. Given the right support, there is also a very long history of people recovering from these conditions, however the MOE Guidelines do not suggest this alternative approach to schools. Schools are required to consult their community on the contents of sexuality education and parents retain the right to withdraw their children from these lessons. However, parents are often unaware of the incidental discussion of trans beliefs in everyday classroom conversations. Advice on how to communicate with your school on this issue is here. In the name of being inclusive and kind, schools and other students feel they must use new names and pronouns (see below) for transgender children and must provide special facilities for them. The RSE guidelines direct schools to allow students to use the facilities “of the gender identity they are most comfortable with” and students are often not consulted or are pressured into agreeing with that policy. The RSE guide encourages schools to support a child’s social transition (see below) without mentioning the need to consult parents. Under the Education Act, principals are expected to inform parents of any matters that in the principal’s opinion “are preventing or slowing the student’s progress... (or) harming the student’s relationships with teachers or other students.” This expectation is entirely dependent on the principal’s opinion and there is no case law to clarify the extent or limits of the principal’s decision. If the principal is fully supportive of organisations like InsideOUT and follows its advice, parents will not be informed. Some parents of trans children are not informing the school of their child’s transition and the Human Rights Commission recommends that, if known, schools keep the transition a secret from other parents. This removes the right of other parents to know who their child shares space with in school changing rooms and on school camps. Rainbow organisations with good funding have been able to influence LGBTQ education in schools in many Western countries, including NZ. Under the guise of anti-bullying programmes, many schools contract out to activist groups to provide sex education that confuses children about biological reality and can persuade them to claim a gender identity. Support groups for lesbians and gays in schools are disappearing in favour of transgender support. It has become ‘uncool’ to be lesbian and the attention and compassion for the rainbow community is now mostly reserved for those with a trans identity. In the past, children who were gay or lesbian were often bullied. Now it is becoming common for children to be bullied for not being ‘queer’. Some children have discovered that adopting a non-binary persona is a necessary safeguard. What is the problem with preferred pronouns and inclusive language? Contrary to trans activists’ claims, requiring people to use ‘preferred pronouns’ is not inclusive, nor is it kind. It forces everyone to take sides in an ideological belief and can lead to bullying of those who choose the ‘wrong’ pronouns for themselves, or accidentally use the ‘wrong’ pronoun for others. Using preferred pronouns has become a linguistic game that “cultivates fragility, entitlement ... and brainwashes children into hating their bodies.” Pronouns have become weaponised, leading to accusations of ‘misgendering’ that are used to excessively punish small perceived errors in speech with charges of bigotry and violence. ‘Preferred pronouns’ are touted as a mark of respect but they are more often a mark of submission. Many people object to being compelled to use chosen pronouns, for example in cases where female victims of violence have been required to address their male abusers as ‘she’. Trans activists, representing about 1% of the population, are demanding radical changes to the language for the other 99%. ‘Women’ has been given a circular and nonsensical new meaning: a woman is now any person who feels like a woman. Medical terms for women’s anatomy and bodily functions are being discarded in favour of words that are disconnected from women altogether: vagina becomes ‘front hole’; breast-feeding becomes ‘chest feeding’; mother becomes ‘birthing parent’. Pride in being a girl, woman or a mother is taken away. These new terms, designed for the comfort of a very few, will result in disadvantaged women and girls being even further distanced from the health care they need. Is social transition harmless? Social transition can mean anything from choosing a gender-neutral nickname and wearing androgynous clothing, right through to adopting an opposite sex name, pronouns, and clothes and wanting to be recognised as the opposite sex by everyone else in all facets of life. Far from being “kind and affirming” as claimed, it fixes the new identity and makes it harder for children to later change their minds. When everyone else is expected to go along with the fiction, children are learning that affirming another’s belief is what matters and questioning is wrong. What is ROGD? Dr Lisa Littman, Public Health Assistant Professor at Brown University, coined the term Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) after studying the phenomenon of the sudden onset of gender dysphoria amongst girls belonging to a peer group where multiple friends have become transgender-identified during the same timeframe, often accompanied by lengthy periods spent on social media and the internet. Some of the results from Littman’s study are: 41% of the participants had expressed a non-heterosexual sexual orientation before identifying as transgender; 62.5% had been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder or neurodevelopmental disability prior to the onset of gender dysphoria; in 36.8% of the friendship groups, the majority of the friends became trans-identified; and 49.4% tried to isolate from their families. Boys and young men also experience ROGD. Some of their stories have been collected in a four part Quillette series. There has been a twenty fold rise in the number of people seeking transition, with teenagers hugely-overrepresented. Between 2007 and 2017, the number of transgender youth clinics in the US went from 1 to 41 and the number continues to increase. A survey in the UK has found a 15 fold increase in children being referred for gender treatment since 2010, and also a marked regional difference with referrals in Blackpool three times the national rate. In this 5 minute video, Abigail Shrier explains the phenomenon of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) and its tragic effects on a generation of (mostly) girls. Shrier is the author of Irreversible Damage: the transgender craze seducing our daughters. What is the problem with puberty blockers? Puberty blockers are an experimental treatment that is too readily prescribed to young people who cannot fully understand the consequences. Puberty blockers are drugs that were developed for the treatment of prostate cancer and they have never been certified as safe and effective for treating gender dysphoria. Multiple reviews of the use of puberty blockers have all found a lack of evidence for their safety or efficacy. These reviews include: Finland 2020 revised its treatment guidelines, prioritising psychological interventions and support over medical interventions. Sweden 2021 The Karolinska Hospital ceased the use of puberty blockers for those aged under 18. Sweden 2022 Following a comprehensive review, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare concluded that the evidence base for hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth is of low quality and that hormonal treatments may carry risks. As a result of this determination, the eligibility for pediatric gender transition with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in Sweden will be sharply curtailed. France 2022 The French National Academie of Medicine recommended caution in the use of puberty blockers: “...the greatest reserve is required in their use, given the side effects such as impact on growth, bone fragility, risk of sterility, emotional and intellectual consequences and, for girls, symptoms reminiscent of menopause”. Florida 2022 The Florida Department of Health issued new guidelines on treating gender dysphoria for children and adolescents which recommends that minors should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy. United Kingdom 2022 An independent review, led by Dr Hilary Cass, highlighted a profound lack of evidence and medical consensus about the best approach to treating gender dysphoria in children. Norway 2023 After a review, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board stated it has serious concerns about the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and that the current ‘gender affirming’ guidelines are not evidence-based and must be revised. Denmark 2023 In a marked shift in the country's approach to caring for youth with gender dysphoria, most youth who are referred to the centralised gender clinic now receive therapeutic counselling and support, rather than a prescription for puberty blockers. New Zealand 2022 In September 2022, the NZ Ministry of Health website quietly removed its description of puberty blockers as being “safe and fully reversible” and replaced it with “Blockers are sometimes used from early puberty through to later adolescence to allow time to fully explore gender health options.” Unlawful. In this article, Bernard Lane describes how the NZ Ministry of Health was warned by Medsafe in September 2022 it could be breaking the law by publicising the off-label use of puberty blockers for children. Questions mount around the use of puberty blockers in children. by Jan Rivers. "New Zealand rates of puberty blocker use are much higher than the UK, where the Tavistock Clinic’s Gender Service (GIDS) was closed due to unsafe practices. In New Zealand, Dr Sue Bagshaw reports that 65 per cent of her clinic’s 100 patients receive them. The Tavistock GIDS clinic prescribed blockers to about 6 per cent." Flaws in Dutch Puberty Blocker Study 2023 A peer-reviewed open access publication has exposed deep flaws in the Dutch studies that formed the foundation for youth gender transition and concluded that these studies should never have been used to launch the practice of youth gender transition into mainstream medicine. Puberty blockers are wrongly claimed to be fully reversible. Short term studies have shown changes to height, lower bone density, and potential interference with brain function, while long term effects are unknown. Treating gender dysphoria with puberty blockers is a medical experiment which may leave young people in a state of ‘developmental limbo’ without the beneficial effects of puberty on maturation and the development of secondary sex characteristics. A 2021 Swedish documentary described finding “case after case of irreversible treatment of young people gone wrong", including a 15 year old who has constant pain from severely reduced bone density after being on puberty blockers for four years. Nearly all young people who start puberty blockers go on to life-long use of cross sex hormones and their irreversible effects. In a study carried out by the Gender Identity Development Service in the UK, of 44 children who were referred for puberty blockers between the ages of 12 and 15, all except one – 98% of the cohort – progressed to cross-sex hormones. Studies have shown that a large majority (around 80%) of trans identified youth grow up to change their minds and accept their biological sex. The current rush to affirm a trans identity by some counsellors, clinicians and parents means large numbers of children are being medicalised when a ‘watchful waiting’ approach would have been most appropriate. March 2024. The WPATH Files were published, revealing that 'gender-affirming care" is leading to widespread medical malpractice on children and vulnerable adults. The “WPATH files” are documents leaked from the internal chatboard of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). The leaked files reveal that treatments may do more harm than good, and suggest that some clinicians who are members of WPATH know this. (Sex Matters) In this Quillette article, Bernard Lane gives an overview of the use of puberty blockers as a routine treatment for gender distress and the resulting medical scandal. In a new study (2024), the Mayo Clinic has found mild to severe atrophy in the testes of boys on puberty blockers, leading the authors to express doubt in the claims that these drugs are 'safe and reversible'. Which countries have restricted the use of puberty blockers and other medical treatments of gender distress in minors? France 2024 French senators have published a report that expresses alarm at the excesses of child gender transition and have proposed a bill to put an end to it. England 2024: The NHS will no longer routinely prescribe puberty blockers at gender identity clinics in England and Wales. (Scotland NHS is a separate body.) The Netherlands 2024: The Dutch government has passed a motion to conduct research into the physical and mental health outcomes of children given puberty blockers. Denmark 2023 In a marked shift in the country's approach to caring for youth with gender dysphoria, most youth who are referred to the centralised gender clinic now receive therapeutic counselling and support, rather than a prescription for puberty blockers. Norway 2023 After a review, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board stated it has serious concerns about the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and that the current ‘gender affirming’ guidelines are not evidence-based and must be revised. Sweden 2021 The Karolinska Hospital ceased the use of puberty blockers for those aged under 18 . Finland 2020 revised its treatment guidelines, prioritising psychological interventions and support over medical interventions. USA 2023-24: A total of 22 states have so far passed laws protecting children from routine medicalisation of gender distress. The laws vary in what they proscribe and in the penalties imposed and some of them are subject to ongoing legal challenges. This interactive map provides state by state details. New Zealand 2022: In September of that year the Ministry of Health website quietly removed its description of puberty blockers as being “safe and fully reversible” and initiated a review into their safety and efficacy. We are still awaiting that report. What has happened in Sweden? As with other Western nations, in the mid 2000s, Sweden enthusiastically started treating children who had gender dysphoria with hormones, followed by genital surgery. However, in late 2019, there was a sharp 65% decline in the number of referrals to gender clinics in Sweden, as shown in the graph below. This sharp decline corresponds with experts calling on the government to review treatment protocols and with the airing of a television documentary – Trans Train – that revealed to the population that medical transition of minors is not based on scientific evidence. In April 2021, Sweden announced a new policy for the treatment of gender dysphoric minors. Those under 18 will no longer be prescribed puberty blockers or cross sex hormones and doctors are required to give better explanations of the risks and uncertainties of transition. Following a comprehensive review, in February 2022 the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare concluded that the evidence base for hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth is of low quality and that hormonal treatments may carry risks. As a result of this determination, the eligibility for pediatric gender transition with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in Sweden will be sharply curtailed. For most youth, psychiatric care and gender-exploratory psychotherapy will be offered instead. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis, and the number of clinics providing paediatric gender transition will be reduced to a few highly specialised centralised care centres. What has happened in the United Kingdom? The exponential rise in teenage girls seeking medical gender transition began to raise alarm bells and the Keira Bell case confirmed that there are serious questions about the efficacy and long term impact of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. In April 2021 a report by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) found the evidence for using puberty blocking drugs to treat young people struggling with their gender identity is “very low”. A further independent review, led by Dr Hilary Cass, released an interim report in March 2022 that highlights a profound lack of evidence and medical consensus about the best approach to treating gender dysphoria in children. This is Dr Cass's latest update (Dec 2022) about the proposed changes to the UK's transgender medicine services. Following the interim Cass Report, in April 2022, the UK Health Secretary,Sajid Javid, announced an urgent review into gender treatment services for children in England, saying that services in this area were too affirmative and narrow, and “bordering on the ideological”. In December 2022 the Scottish parliament passed a bill allowing sex-self-ID. In January 2023, the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak announced his government would block the legislation. Days later, Nicola Sturgeon, the then Scottish First Minister was embroiled in a controversy about a rapist who had self-identified into a women's prison. Time to Think by Hannah Barnes was published in January 2023. This Guardian review of the Gender Identity development service describes, "As referrals to Gids grew rapidly – in 2009, it had 97; by 2020, this figure was 2,500 – so did pressure on the service. Barnes found that the clinic – which employed an unusually high number of junior staff, to whom it offered no real training – no longer had much time for the psychological work (the talking therapies) of old. But something else was happening, too. Trans charities such as Mermaids were closely – too closely – involved with Gids. Such organisations vociferously encouraged the swift prescription of drugs. This now began to happen, on occasion, after only two consultations. Once a child was on blockers, they were rarely offered follow-up appointments. Gids did not keep in touch with its patients in the long term, or keep reliable data on outcomes." In March 2024 the NHS (National Health Service) announced that puberty blockers would no longer be routinely prescribed in England and Wales. (Scotland's NHS is a separate body.) What are the effects of cross sex hormones? For females, taking testosterone irreversibly deepens the voice, promotes the growth of facial and body hair, and enlarges the clitoris. It also can thicken the blood, increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack. Body fat is redistributed and sweat and body odour are affected. Vaginal atrophy (the thinning and drying of the vaginal wall) is usual and menstruation is reduced or ceases. Initially there is often a ‘high’ produced by the increased testosterone, with anxiety and emotional responses markedly reduced, but this may not last long term. For males, taking oestrogen causes the development of breasts, a reduction in muscle mass and body hair, reduced testicular size and sperm count, the redistribution of fat, a change in sweat and body odour and changes in emotions. For both sexes there is a loss of sexual function – vaginal atrophy in females (drier vaginal walls can cause pain during sex), and reduced erectile function in males. Both sexes can experience a change in sexual interest, arousal, and orgasm. There is also possible infertility in both sexes caused by the reduced ovulation and sperm production. Children who move directly from puberty blockers to artificial sex hormones will never go through the puberty for their sex and boys’ penises will remain permanently immature, at the size of a child’s. Gender-affirming surgery that includes hysterectomy and oophorectomy in transmen (females) or orchiectomy in transwomen (males) results in permanent sterility. What is the reality of a sex change operation? A lot of the hype around gender identity ideology says that sex re-assignment surgery is simple and that it will make the patient indistinguishable from someone born as the desired sex. The euphemisms used of ‘top surgery’ or ‘bottom surgery’ blatantly hide the truth. All sex-reassignment surgery is potentially dangerous, often disfiguring, and it never provides the full appearance and function of natural genitalia. Young people are being misled. Sex re-assignment surgery also permanently sterilises the patient through castration of males and the removal of the ovaries and uterus of females. Here are two accounts from people who have undergone the surgery, one from Scott Newgent and one from Melissa Vulgaris, describing what it was like for them. In this interview, detransitioner Ritchie Herron describes the catastrophic effects of his gender surgery which he says was "the biggest mistake of my life." On GB News, detransitioners Keira Bell and Ritchie Herron describe the lack of information they were given about the side effects of surgery and the pressure they felt under to agree to the recommendations of their doctors and therapists. What is a detransitioner? A detransitioner is a person who has undergone medical and/or surgical transition to the opposite gender but has later come to regret this choice and has reverted to their biological sex. Here is a personal account of detransitioning from Ellie and Nele and another from Sinead Watson. After ceasing the taking of cross sex hormones some of the changes wrought may be diminished but many of them, especially of course any surgeries, are irreversible. Reports that the percentage of people with regret is very low usually do not take into account the enormous and rapid increase in those identifying as transgender in the past ten years and websites to support detransitioners have attracted followers in the tens of thousands. A recent study by Dr Lisa Littman suggests that detransition is under-reported and needs to be comprehensively studied to develop alternative, non-invasive approaches to treating gender dysphoria for young people. In this interview, detransitoner Ritchie Herron describes the catastrophic effects of his gender surgery which he says was "the biggest mistake of my life." On GB News, detransitioners Keira Bell and Ritchie Herron describe the lack of information they were given about the side effects of surgery and the pressure they felt under to agree to the recommendations of their doctors and therapists. Are trans rights an extension of gay rights? Are trans rights human rights? Everyone, including transgender people, has human rights as stated by the United Nations Declaration. Trans rights activists seek to claim extra rights that others don’t have, for example, to be able to keep secret a previous identity, or to be able to prescribe how language is used. Gay rights concern the right for consenting adults to have same-sex relationships and to have the same rights as heterosexual people. Trans rights, on the other hand, seek the extra right to self-identify into a protected group and be eligible for that group’s special discretions. Gay rights accept that there are two sexes, the distinct reproductive capacity of each, and do not denmand medical or surgical treatments. Trans rights reject the science of sex and claim that what a person thinks and feels is of most importance and that those thoughts and feelings can literally transform a body into the opposite sex. Trans rights dictate that everyone adheres to the trans way of interpreting and describing gender and sex. Trans rights demand medical and surgical treatment as a right and put transgender people, often young people influenced by social media, onto a conveyor belt of lifelong medicalisation. Gay rights do not require others to forfeit anything or demand fundamental changes to everyday language. Trans rights insist on the forfeiture of single sex spaces, sports, scholarships, representation, and even language. Trans rights push to censor the words used to describe women and women’s bodies – foundational words like ‘mother’ or ‘woman’ – and replace them with dehumanising words like ‘birthing parent’, ‘bodies with vaginas’ and ‘people who menstruate’. Transgender activists are undermining gay rights by claiming same-sex attraction is really same-gender attraction and by denying biological reality. Without biological sex, there is no homosexuality. Arty Morty's December 2023 substack "The War to Annihilate Sex" looks at the gender debate from his perspective as a gay man. What is the definition of a woman? Until very recently, everyone would have answered this question with the perfectly clear dictionary definition: “adult human female.” However, in the past few years many people have become so caught up in gender ideology, or so afraid of being labelled transphobic, that they find the question impossible to answer. Despite a large number of politicians, journalists, a US Supreme Court Judge nominee, and various celebrities being unable to define the term and tying themselves in knots in the effort, every woman remains, and always will be, an “adult human female”. A female is born with the reproductive anatomy to produce eggs and bear young. Even if a female’s reproductive anatomy is incomplete or inactive, or she has had a hysterectomy, every adult human female is still a woman. Does the existence of intersex people prove sex is on a spectrum? How common are intersex conditions? Intersex should more correctly be called DSD - differences in sex development. It is a medical condition not a gender identity and therefore has nothing in common with the trans rights socio-political campaign. Intersex conditions have been co-opted by trans activists in an attempt to try to prove that sex is on a spectrum. Whether a person is male or female is the result of a complex interaction of chromosomes, genes, and hormones, and this intricate process does not always go fully to plan. In other words, some humans are born with differences in sex development (DSD). This in no way counters the fact that in the vast majority of cases – 99% – the complex process does work and humans can be reliably classified as male or female in the first trimester of pregnancy. Sex is not on a spectrum. The only time sex is “assigned” at birth is in the very rare cases where the baby’s physical genitalia are not immediately classifiable as male or female. In all other births, sex is observed and recorded at birth. A small number of people are born with ambiguous genitalia or internal organs that don’t match their chromosomes. Claims that 1.7% of people are intersex (the same as the incidence of red hair) have been inflated by including in the count those with conditions such as Klinefelter or Turner syndromes. People with these syndromes are always male (Klinefelter) or female (Turner) who have chromosomal abnormalities; they are not intersex. To retain its proper meaning, the DSD label (intersex) should be restricted to those conditions where chromosomes and genitalia are inconsistent and not classifiable as male or female. Using that criteria, the prevalence of DSD is about 0.018%. Read more here: https://resistgendereducation.substack.com/p/the-intersex-red-herring How many transgender people are there in New Zealand? A recent Statistics NZ Household Economic Survey of more than 31,000 people found that 4.2% identified as LGBT+ of which 0.8 % were transgender or non-binary. Rainbow community leaders expressed surprise that the number wasn’t higher and thought some people were unwilling to disclose their identities. The same questions will be asked in the 2023 census. Having the correct statistics for transgender people is important so we know how many people are affected by transgender issues and also how much resource should equitably be allocated to their specific needs. Do all transgender people have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria? Not any more. Gender dysphoria is a well-documented psychological condition that used to mainly affect men. Hormone and surgical treatments were devised to assist adult men and a ‘watchful waiting’ approach was taken for young people with gender dysphoria because approximately 80% come to accept their biological sex as adults. In the past twelve years two major changes have happened: Firstly, there has been an exponential rise in the number of children and teenagers attending gender transition clinics around the Western world. In the UK, over the ten years from 2009 to 2019, the increase was more than 1,400% for boys and more than 5,000% for girls, meaning girls are now far more likely to identify as transgender than are boys. Very high rates of autism, psychiatric disorders and a history of trauma had often been diagnosed in these patients before they announced they wanted to change gender. Secondly, many transgender people are claiming a new gender identity without a diagnosis of dysphoria and sometimes even without intending to have any hormonal or surgical treatment. Because of these changes, “transgender” is now an umbrella term that does include some people with diagnosed gender dysphoria, but also many people who are simply non-conforming to gender stereotypes or who like cross-dressing. Do transgender people have worse mental health problems and higher suicide rates than the general population? Counting Ourselves, a frequently quoted NZ survey of 1,100 trans and non-binary people, reported that 71% of the respondents disclosed psychological distress and 56% had thought about attempting suicide in the past 12 months, with 37% having attempted suicide at some time, but there are serious flaws in the report’s methodology and questions. These statistics are repeatedly given as irrefutable fact but Counting Ourselves, and other similar surveys, are not a random sample of a population and cannot be verified against a control group. Further, asking respondents to self-report attempted suicide is known to overestimate the rate. The report itself says “our use of nonprobability sampling means that the generalizability of our results to the wider transgender population in Aotearoa/New Zealand and beyond should be interpreted with caution”. Suicide rarely has one cause and it is difficult for studies to extricate gender dysphoria from other factors. Although trans-identified people do suffer worse mental health than the general population, they also have higher rates of anxiety, depression, trauma, and neurological conditions that usually predate the trans identity. Most surveys do not take into account pre-existing conditions or co-morbidities and simply attribute the poor mental health to being transgender. Exaggerated suicide statistics are being used as a form of emotional blackmail (“Better a live daughter than a dead son”) to push parents, clinicians, and others into acquiescing to irreversible treatments for minors. The UK Gender Identity Development Service states on its website: “The majority of the children and young people we see do not self harm, nor do they make attempts to end their own life. Although there is a higher rate of self-harm in the young people who are seen at GIDS compared to all teenagers, it is a similar rate to that seen in local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).” There is little evidence that medical transition decreases suicidality or that puberty blockers are necessary to prevent suicide. A long-term Swedish study found that post-operative transgender people have “considerably higher risks for suicidal behaviour”. A study published in the British Medical Journal in February 2024 found that suicide among young people seeking gender services in Finland is an unusual event (0.3%, or 0.51 per 1,000 person-years). The study found no convincing evidence that gender-referred youth have statistically significantly higher suicide rates as compared to the general population, after controlling for psychiatric needs. The authors concluded that "it is of utmost importance to identify and appropriately treat mental disorders in adolescents experiencing GD [gender dysphoria] to prevent suicide, while also noting that "the risk of suicide-related to transgender identity and/or GD per se may have been overestimated." What is the problem with banning conversion therapy? The Conversion Therapy Practices Prohibition Act will come into force in 2023 and is intended to protect all LGBTQIA+ people from conversion therapy, which is defined as any practice that tries to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. However, including gender identity in this Act may prevent young people from receiving the most appropriate care for their gender dysphoria. Although health practitioners are permitted to take an action if they consider “in their reasonable professional judgement it is appropriate” it is not clear whether parents and counsellors will have the same protection. Under threat of possible prosecution, some may feel forced to affirm a transgender identity instead of investigating other possible causes of gender dysphoria or delaying treatment while waiting for the patient to mature. The UK government has delayed a similar bill after the Equalities and Human Rights Commission urged careful and detailed consideration of its significant and wide-ranging implications. After announcing in January 2023 that a bill banning conversion therapy was imminent, by May 2023, the UK government has not yet introduced it.

  • Positive books for secondary students

    You Could Be So Pretty by Holly Bourne. This dystopian novel aims to encourage readers to question the porn-influenced sexual violence that they might think is normal. In this Daily Mail article, Holly describes her harrowing experiences as a former online sex and relationships adviser for young people, and says, “I believe the widespread consumption of hardcore pornography is now a public health emergency.” Always Erin by Erin Brewer (2021) Written for young people with pictures about the author’s journey through gender dysphoria and out the other side. Her dysphoria was the result of a childhood sexual assault and puberty and counselling helped her accept her body. Available from Partners for Ethical Care. https://www.partnersforethicalcare.com/shop-1 Dare Truth and Promise by Paula Boock (1999). (New Zealand) A lesbian teenage love story. Willa and Louie could not be more different. Louie wants to be a lawyer and is an outstanding student. Willa lives in a pub and just wants to get through the year so she can graduate and become a chef. Detransition Booklet. (Detransitioners are people who have adopted an opposite sex identity and later reverted to their birth sex.) Here are gathered written experiences of 75 female and male detransitioners, their wishes, advice and thoughts. The 50-page long booklet has the objective to reach detransitioners and desisters, their relatives and close ones, people who consider a transition and wish for more information, health professional,s such as endocrinologists or therapists, or anyone who wants to learn more about the topic. https://post-trans.com/Detransition-Booklet . Everything Changes by Samantha Hale (2014) Seventeen-year-old Raven Walker has never had a boyfriend. She's never really been interested in boys. But she was always too afraid to examine what that might mean. Until she meets Morgan O'Shea and finds herself inexplicably drawn to her. As their friendship develops, Raven is forced to face the possibility that her interest in Morgan might actually be attraction and that she might be gay. Girl Mans Up by M.E. Girard (2016) Young adult novel about a lesbian girl who struggles with the attitudes and beliefs of her family and friends. Everyone thinks the way Pen looks and acts means she’s trying to be a boy—but she’s not. All she wants is to be the kind of (lesbian) girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? Girl Stuff 13+ by Kaz Cooke (Updated every year) Has everything girls need to know about: friends, body changes, shopping, clothes, make-up, pimples, sizes, hair, earning money, guys, embarrassment, what to eat, moods, smoking, why diets suck, handling love and heartbreak, exercise, school stress, sex, beating bullies and mean girls, drugs, drinking, how to find new friends, cheering up, how to get on with your family, and confidence. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata (2017). (Graphic Novel in manga form.) This is an honest and heartfelt look at one young woman’s exploration of her sexuality, mental well-being, and growing up in our modern age. My Period by Milli Hill (2021). A positive book about having a period. Gives parents some good language to use to describe intercourse in a way that's factual without being too graphic or too clinical. Sex and Gender: An Introductory Guide by Phoebe Rose www.mybodyisme.com Southernmost by Silas House (2018) A flood has swept away the small town where preacher Asher Sharp lives. When he offers shelter to two gay men he risks losing everything. The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir (2018) When her religious, reality TV famous family discover Essie is pregnant, it’s decided that she should marry, but whom? Essie slyly convinces them that Roarke Richards, captain of the high school baseball team, would be perfect. Roarke is surprised that Essie knows his secret—he is gay—and only reluctantly agrees with her plan, but eventually he becomes a willing and supportive accomplice. The Book of No Worries: a survival guide for growing up by Lizzie Cox and Tanja Stevanoic (2018) Lots of tips about how to handle growing up, including managing self-image, how common it is for kids going through puberty to dislike themselves/their bodies and tips on mental health and relationships The Care and Keeping of You (Books 1 for younger and 2 for older girls) (2012) To introduce and inform daughters about periods and growing up. Lots of info about self care, diet, emotions, friends etc. The Guncle by Steven Rowley (2021) After a parent tragedy Maisie and Grant are looked after by their gay uncle who doesn’t really know what to do. Feminist histories for teens: https://dragoncloudpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR2Zpj1TcctGFyHS4AdZs_kc2P9LVGtjSWVhLq5XDKm5AneBgT2eUWtZ774 What do gender identity supporters believe? Gender identity activism is based on a belief that everyone has an innate sense of being masculine, feminine, or neither, and that this feeling does not always correlate with their sexed bodies. They believe that a person’s gender identity should take precedence over their observable sex and that everyone else must accept their self-identification. There is a range of views within gender identity activism, with some acknowledging that sex is an objective classification and others contending that sex is on a spectrum and that binary classifications are scientifically false. The more extreme activists say that there are hundreds or thousands of distinct and legitimate gender identities, all of which should be recognised by others. Extreme trans activists demand that the subjective concept of gender identity should replace the objective reality of sex in all government policy and law. For example, NZ law now allows anyone (including children) to have their birth certificate changed (multiple times) to the sex they self-declare. The fact that the birth certificate has been changed is permanently hidden from public view. Arty Morty's December 2023 substack, The War to Annihilate Sex clearly explains both sides of the debate and what is at stake. How do gender identity beliefs affect NZ schools? The Ministry of Education published the updated Relationship and Sexuality Education Guidelines (RSE) in September 2020 which is heavily supportive of gender identity thinking. Our critique of the Guidelines is here. The Guidelines are based on Gender Identity Theory that argues that everyone has an inner feeling of masculinity, femininity, or neither that is known only to themselves and should be automatically affirmed by others, including at school. The alternative explanation for gender distress, the Developmental Model Theory, is not mentioned at all. This theory recognises that there is a very long history of people developing behaviours to manage distress and becoming fixated on them - such as obsessive compulsive disorder, anorexia, cutting and now gender dysphoria. Given the right support, there is also a very long history of people recovering from these conditions, however the MOE Guidelines do not suggest this alternative approach to schools. Schools are required to consult their community on the contents of sexuality education and parents retain the right to withdraw their children from these lessons. However, parents are often unaware of the incidental discussion of trans beliefs in everyday classroom conversations. Advice on how to communicate with your school on this issue is here. In the name of being inclusive and kind, schools and other students feel they must use new names and pronouns (see below) for transgender children and must provide special facilities for them. The RSE guidelines direct schools to allow students to use the facilities “of the gender identity they are most comfortable with” and students are often not consulted or are pressured into agreeing with that policy. The RSE guide encourages schools to support a child’s social transition (see below) without mentioning the need to consult parents. Under the Education Act, principals are expected to inform parents of any matters that in the principal’s opinion “are preventing or slowing the student’s progress... (or) harming the student’s relationships with teachers or other students.” This expectation is entirely dependent on the principal’s opinion and there is no case law to clarify the extent or limits of the principal’s decision. If the principal is fully supportive of organisations like InsideOUT and follows its advice, parents will not be informed. Some parents of trans children are not informing the school of their child’s transition and the Human Rights Commission recommends that, if known, schools keep the transition a secret from other parents. This removes the right of other parents to know who their child shares space with in school changing rooms and on school camps. Rainbow organisations with good funding have been able to influence LGBTQ education in schools in many Western countries, including NZ. Under the guise of anti-bullying programmes, many schools contract out to activist groups to provide sex education that confuses children about biological reality and can persuade them to claim a gender identity. Support groups for lesbians and gays in schools are disappearing in favour of transgender support. It has become ‘uncool’ to be lesbian and the attention and compassion for the rainbow community is now mostly reserved for those with a trans identity. In the past, children who were gay or lesbian were often bullied. Now it is becoming common for children to be bullied for not being ‘queer’. Some children have discovered that adopting a non-binary persona is a necessary safeguard. What is the problem with preferred pronouns and inclusive language? Contrary to trans activists’ claims, requiring people to use ‘preferred pronouns’ is not inclusive, nor is it kind. It forces everyone to take sides in an ideological belief and can lead to bullying of those who choose the ‘wrong’ pronouns for themselves, or accidentally use the ‘wrong’ pronoun for others. Using preferred pronouns has become a linguistic game that “cultivates fragility, entitlement ... and brainwashes children into hating their bodies.” Pronouns have become weaponised, leading to accusations of ‘misgendering’ that are used to excessively punish small perceived errors in speech with charges of bigotry and violence. ‘Preferred pronouns’ are touted as a mark of respect but they are more often a mark of submission. Many people object to being compelled to use chosen pronouns, for example in cases where female victims of violence have been required to address their male abusers as ‘she’. Trans activists, representing about 1% of the population, are demanding radical changes to the language for the other 99%. ‘Women’ has been given a circular and nonsensical new meaning: a woman is now any person who feels like a woman. Medical terms for women’s anatomy and bodily functions are being discarded in favour of words that are disconnected from women altogether: vagina becomes ‘front hole’; breast-feeding becomes ‘chest feeding’; mother becomes ‘birthing parent’. Pride in being a girl, woman or a mother is taken away. These new terms, designed for the comfort of a very few, will result in disadvantaged women and girls being even further distanced from the health care they need. Is social transition harmless? Social transition can mean anything from choosing a gender-neutral nickname and wearing androgynous clothing, right through to adopting an opposite sex name, pronouns, and clothes and wanting to be recognised as the opposite sex by everyone else in all facets of life. Far from being “kind and affirming” as claimed, it fixes the new identity and makes it harder for children to later change their minds. When everyone else is expected to go along with the fiction, children are learning that affirming another’s belief is what matters and questioning is wrong. What is ROGD? Dr Lisa Littman, Public Health Assistant Professor at Brown University, coined the term Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) after studying the phenomenon of the sudden onset of gender dysphoria amongst girls belonging to a peer group where multiple friends have become transgender-identified during the same timeframe, often accompanied by lengthy periods spent on social media and the internet. Some of the results from Littman’s study are: 41% of the participants had expressed a non-heterosexual sexual orientation before identifying as transgender; 62.5% had been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder or neurodevelopmental disability prior to the onset of gender dysphoria; in 36.8% of the friendship groups, the majority of the friends became trans-identified; and 49.4% tried to isolate from their families. Boys and young men also experience ROGD. Some of their stories have been collected in a four part Quillette series. There has been a twenty fold rise in the number of people seeking transition, with teenagers hugely-overrepresented. Between 2007 and 2017, the number of transgender youth clinics in the US went from 1 to 41 and the number continues to increase. A survey in the UK has found a 15 fold increase in children being referred for gender treatment since 2010, and also a marked regional difference with referrals in Blackpool three times the national rate. In this 5 minute video, Abigail Shrier explains the phenomenon of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) and its tragic effects on a generation of (mostly) girls. Shrier is the author of Irreversible Damage: the transgender craze seducing our daughters. What is the problem with puberty blockers? Puberty blockers are an experimental treatment that is too readily prescribed to young people who cannot fully understand the consequences. Puberty blockers are drugs that were developed for the treatment of prostate cancer and they have never been certified as safe and effective for treating gender dysphoria. Multiple reviews of the use of puberty blockers have all found a lack of evidence for their safety or efficacy. These reviews include: Finland 2020 revised its treatment guidelines, prioritising psychological interventions and support over medical interventions. Sweden 2021 The Karolinska Hospital ceased the use of puberty blockers for those aged under 18. Sweden 2022 Following a comprehensive review, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare concluded that the evidence base for hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth is of low quality and that hormonal treatments may carry risks. As a result of this determination, the eligibility for pediatric gender transition with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in Sweden will be sharply curtailed. France 2022 The French National Academie of Medicine recommended caution in the use of puberty blockers: “...the greatest reserve is required in their use, given the side effects such as impact on growth, bone fragility, risk of sterility, emotional and intellectual consequences and, for girls, symptoms reminiscent of menopause”. Florida 2022 The Florida Department of Health issued new guidelines on treating gender dysphoria for children and adolescents which recommends that minors should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy. United Kingdom 2022 An independent review, led by Dr Hilary Cass, highlighted a profound lack of evidence and medical consensus about the best approach to treating gender dysphoria in children. Norway 2023 After a review, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board stated it has serious concerns about the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and that the current ‘gender affirming’ guidelines are not evidence-based and must be revised. Denmark 2023 In a marked shift in the country's approach to caring for youth with gender dysphoria, most youth who are referred to the centralised gender clinic now receive therapeutic counselling and support, rather than a prescription for puberty blockers. New Zealand 2022 In September 2022, the NZ Ministry of Health website quietly removed its description of puberty blockers as being “safe and fully reversible” and replaced it with “Blockers are sometimes used from early puberty through to later adolescence to allow time to fully explore gender health options.” Unlawful. In this article, Bernard Lane describes how the NZ Ministry of Health was warned by Medsafe in September 2022 it could be breaking the law by publicising the off-label use of puberty blockers for children. Questions mount around the use of puberty blockers in children. by Jan Rivers. "New Zealand rates of puberty blocker use are much higher than the UK, where the Tavistock Clinic’s Gender Service (GIDS) was closed due to unsafe practices. In New Zealand, Dr Sue Bagshaw reports that 65 per cent of her clinic’s 100 patients receive them. The Tavistock GIDS clinic prescribed blockers to about 6 per cent." Flaws in Dutch Puberty Blocker Study 2023 A peer-reviewed open access publication has exposed deep flaws in the Dutch studies that formed the foundation for youth gender transition and concluded that these studies should never have been used to launch the practice of youth gender transition into mainstream medicine. Puberty blockers are wrongly claimed to be fully reversible. Short term studies have shown changes to height, lower bone density, and potential interference with brain function, while long term effects are unknown. Treating gender dysphoria with puberty blockers is a medical experiment which may leave young people in a state of ‘developmental limbo’ without the beneficial effects of puberty on maturation and the development of secondary sex characteristics. A 2021 Swedish documentary described finding “case after case of irreversible treatment of young people gone wrong", including a 15 year old who has constant pain from severely reduced bone density after being on puberty blockers for four years. Nearly all young people who start puberty blockers go on to life-long use of cross sex hormones and their irreversible effects. In a study carried out by the Gender Identity Development Service in the UK, of 44 children who were referred for puberty blockers between the ages of 12 and 15, all except one – 98% of the cohort – progressed to cross-sex hormones. Studies have shown that a large majority (around 80%) of trans identified youth grow up to change their minds and accept their biological sex. The current rush to affirm a trans identity by some counsellors, clinicians and parents means large numbers of children are being medicalised when a ‘watchful waiting’ approach would have been most appropriate. March 2024. The WPATH Files were published, revealing that 'gender-affirming care" is leading to widespread medical malpractice on children and vulnerable adults. The “WPATH files” are documents leaked from the internal chatboard of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). The leaked files reveal that treatments may do more harm than good, and suggest that some clinicians who are members of WPATH know this. (Sex Matters) In this Quillette article, Bernard Lane gives an overview of the use of puberty blockers as a routine treatment for gender distress and the resulting medical scandal. In a new study (2024), the Mayo Clinic has found mild to severe atrophy in the testes of boys on puberty blockers, leading the authors to express doubt in the claims that these drugs are 'safe and reversible'. Which countries have restricted the use of puberty blockers and other medical treatments of gender distress in minors? France 2024 French senators have published a report that expresses alarm at the excesses of child gender transition and have proposed a bill to put an end to it. England 2024: The NHS will no longer routinely prescribe puberty blockers at gender identity clinics in England and Wales. (Scotland NHS is a separate body.) The Netherlands 2024: The Dutch government has passed a motion to conduct research into the physical and mental health outcomes of children given puberty blockers. Denmark 2023 In a marked shift in the country's approach to caring for youth with gender dysphoria, most youth who are referred to the centralised gender clinic now receive therapeutic counselling and support, rather than a prescription for puberty blockers. Norway 2023 After a review, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board stated it has serious concerns about the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and that the current ‘gender affirming’ guidelines are not evidence-based and must be revised. Sweden 2021 The Karolinska Hospital ceased the use of puberty blockers for those aged under 18 . Finland 2020 revised its treatment guidelines, prioritising psychological interventions and support over medical interventions. USA 2023-24: A total of 22 states have so far passed laws protecting children from routine medicalisation of gender distress. The laws vary in what they proscribe and in the penalties imposed and some of them are subject to ongoing legal challenges. This interactive map provides state by state details. New Zealand 2022: In September of that year the Ministry of Health website quietly removed its description of puberty blockers as being “safe and fully reversible” and initiated a review into their safety and efficacy. We are still awaiting that report. What has happened in Sweden? As with other Western nations, in the mid 2000s, Sweden enthusiastically started treating children who had gender dysphoria with hormones, followed by genital surgery. However, in late 2019, there was a sharp 65% decline in the number of referrals to gender clinics in Sweden, as shown in the graph below. This sharp decline corresponds with experts calling on the government to review treatment protocols and with the airing of a television documentary – Trans Train – that revealed to the population that medical transition of minors is not based on scientific evidence. In April 2021, Sweden announced a new policy for the treatment of gender dysphoric minors. Those under 18 will no longer be prescribed puberty blockers or cross sex hormones and doctors are required to give better explanations of the risks and uncertainties of transition. Following a comprehensive review, in February 2022 the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare concluded that the evidence base for hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth is of low quality and that hormonal treatments may carry risks. As a result of this determination, the eligibility for pediatric gender transition with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in Sweden will be sharply curtailed. For most youth, psychiatric care and gender-exploratory psychotherapy will be offered instead. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis, and the number of clinics providing paediatric gender transition will be reduced to a few highly specialised centralised care centres. What has happened in the United Kingdom? The exponential rise in teenage girls seeking medical gender transition began to raise alarm bells and the Keira Bell case confirmed that there are serious questions about the efficacy and long term impact of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. In April 2021 a report by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) found the evidence for using puberty blocking drugs to treat young people struggling with their gender identity is “very low”. A further independent review, led by Dr Hilary Cass, released an interim report in March 2022 that highlights a profound lack of evidence and medical consensus about the best approach to treating gender dysphoria in children. This is Dr Cass's latest update (Dec 2022) about the proposed changes to the UK's transgender medicine services. Following the interim Cass Report, in April 2022, the UK Health Secretary,Sajid Javid, announced an urgent review into gender treatment services for children in England, saying that services in this area were too affirmative and narrow, and “bordering on the ideological”. In December 2022 the Scottish parliament passed a bill allowing sex-self-ID. In January 2023, the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak announced his government would block the legislation. Days later, Nicola Sturgeon, the then Scottish First Minister was embroiled in a controversy about a rapist who had self-identified into a women's prison. Time to Think by Hannah Barnes was published in January 2023. This Guardian review of the Gender Identity development service describes, "As referrals to Gids grew rapidly – in 2009, it had 97; by 2020, this figure was 2,500 – so did pressure on the service. Barnes found that the clinic – which employed an unusually high number of junior staff, to whom it offered no real training – no longer had much time for the psychological work (the talking therapies) of old. But something else was happening, too. Trans charities such as Mermaids were closely – too closely – involved with Gids. Such organisations vociferously encouraged the swift prescription of drugs. This now began to happen, on occasion, after only two consultations. Once a child was on blockers, they were rarely offered follow-up appointments. Gids did not keep in touch with its patients in the long term, or keep reliable data on outcomes." In March 2024 the NHS (National Health Service) announced that puberty blockers would no longer be routinely prescribed in England and Wales. (Scotland's NHS is a separate body.) What are the effects of cross sex hormones? For females, taking testosterone irreversibly deepens the voice, promotes the growth of facial and body hair, and enlarges the clitoris. It also can thicken the blood, increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack. Body fat is redistributed and sweat and body odour are affected. Vaginal atrophy (the thinning and drying of the vaginal wall) is usual and menstruation is reduced or ceases. Initially there is often a ‘high’ produced by the increased testosterone, with anxiety and emotional responses markedly reduced, but this may not last long term. For males, taking oestrogen causes the development of breasts, a reduction in muscle mass and body hair, reduced testicular size and sperm count, the redistribution of fat, a change in sweat and body odour and changes in emotions. For both sexes there is a loss of sexual function – vaginal atrophy in females (drier vaginal walls can cause pain during sex), and reduced erectile function in males. Both sexes can experience a change in sexual interest, arousal, and orgasm. There is also possible infertility in both sexes caused by the reduced ovulation and sperm production. Children who move directly from puberty blockers to artificial sex hormones will never go through the puberty for their sex and boys’ penises will remain permanently immature, at the size of a child’s. Gender-affirming surgery that includes hysterectomy and oophorectomy in transmen (females) or orchiectomy in transwomen (males) results in permanent sterility. What is the reality of a sex change operation? A lot of the hype around gender identity ideology says that sex re-assignment surgery is simple and that it will make the patient indistinguishable from someone born as the desired sex. The euphemisms used of ‘top surgery’ or ‘bottom surgery’ blatantly hide the truth. All sex-reassignment surgery is potentially dangerous, often disfiguring, and it never provides the full appearance and function of natural genitalia. Young people are being misled. Sex re-assignment surgery also permanently sterilises the patient through castration of males and the removal of the ovaries and uterus of females. Here are two accounts from people who have undergone the surgery, one from Scott Newgent and one from Melissa Vulgaris, describing what it was like for them. In this interview, detransitioner Ritchie Herron describes the catastrophic effects of his gender surgery which he says was "the biggest mistake of my life." On GB News, detransitioners Keira Bell and Ritchie Herron describe the lack of information they were given about the side effects of surgery and the pressure they felt under to agree to the recommendations of their doctors and therapists. What is a detransitioner? A detransitioner is a person who has undergone medical and/or surgical transition to the opposite gender but has later come to regret this choice and has reverted to their biological sex. Here is a personal account of detransitioning from Ellie and Nele and another from Sinead Watson. After ceasing the taking of cross sex hormones some of the changes wrought may be diminished but many of them, especially of course any surgeries, are irreversible. Reports that the percentage of people with regret is very low usually do not take into account the enormous and rapid increase in those identifying as transgender in the past ten years and websites to support detransitioners have attracted followers in the tens of thousands. A recent study by Dr Lisa Littman suggests that detransition is under-reported and needs to be comprehensively studied to develop alternative, non-invasive approaches to treating gender dysphoria for young people. In this interview, detransitoner Ritchie Herron describes the catastrophic effects of his gender surgery which he says was "the biggest mistake of my life." On GB News, detransitioners Keira Bell and Ritchie Herron describe the lack of information they were given about the side effects of surgery and the pressure they felt under to agree to the recommendations of their doctors and therapists. Are trans rights an extension of gay rights? Are trans rights human rights? Everyone, including transgender people, has human rights as stated by the United Nations Declaration. Trans rights activists seek to claim extra rights that others don’t have, for example, to be able to keep secret a previous identity, or to be able to prescribe how language is used. Gay rights concern the right for consenting adults to have same-sex relationships and to have the same rights as heterosexual people. Trans rights, on the other hand, seek the extra right to self-identify into a protected group and be eligible for that group’s special discretions. Gay rights accept that there are two sexes, the distinct reproductive capacity of each, and do not denmand medical or surgical treatments. Trans rights reject the science of sex and claim that what a person thinks and feels is of most importance and that those thoughts and feelings can literally transform a body into the opposite sex. Trans rights dictate that everyone adheres to the trans way of interpreting and describing gender and sex. Trans rights demand medical and surgical treatment as a right and put transgender people, often young people influenced by social media, onto a conveyor belt of lifelong medicalisation. Gay rights do not require others to forfeit anything or demand fundamental changes to everyday language. Trans rights insist on the forfeiture of single sex spaces, sports, scholarships, representation, and even language. Trans rights push to censor the words used to describe women and women’s bodies – foundational words like ‘mother’ or ‘woman’ – and replace them with dehumanising words like ‘birthing parent’, ‘bodies with vaginas’ and ‘people who menstruate’. Transgender activists are undermining gay rights by claiming same-sex attraction is really same-gender attraction and by denying biological reality. Without biological sex, there is no homosexuality. Arty Morty's December 2023 substack "The War to Annihilate Sex" looks at the gender debate from his perspective as a gay man. What is the definition of a woman? Until very recently, everyone would have answered this question with the perfectly clear dictionary definition: “adult human female.” However, in the past few years many people have become so caught up in gender ideology, or so afraid of being labelled transphobic, that they find the question impossible to answer. Despite a large number of politicians, journalists, a US Supreme Court Judge nominee, and various celebrities being unable to define the term and tying themselves in knots in the effort, every woman remains, and always will be, an “adult human female”. A female is born with the reproductive anatomy to produce eggs and bear young. Even if a female’s reproductive anatomy is incomplete or inactive, or she has had a hysterectomy, every adult human female is still a woman. Does the existence of intersex people prove sex is on a spectrum? How common are intersex conditions? Intersex should more correctly be called DSD - differences in sex development. It is a medical condition not a gender identity and therefore has nothing in common with the trans rights socio-political campaign. Intersex conditions have been co-opted by trans activists in an attempt to try to prove that sex is on a spectrum. Whether a person is male or female is the result of a complex interaction of chromosomes, genes, and hormones, and this intricate process does not always go fully to plan. In other words, some humans are born with differences in sex development (DSD). This in no way counters the fact that in the vast majority of cases – 99% – the complex process does work and humans can be reliably classified as male or female in the first trimester of pregnancy. Sex is not on a spectrum. The only time sex is “assigned” at birth is in the very rare cases where the baby’s physical genitalia are not immediately classifiable as male or female. In all other births, sex is observed and recorded at birth. A small number of people are born with ambiguous genitalia or internal organs that don’t match their chromosomes. Claims that 1.7% of people are intersex (the same as the incidence of red hair) have been inflated by including in the count those with conditions such as Klinefelter or Turner syndromes. People with these syndromes are always male (Klinefelter) or female (Turner) who have chromosomal abnormalities; they are not intersex. To retain its proper meaning, the DSD label (intersex) should be restricted to those conditions where chromosomes and genitalia are inconsistent and not classifiable as male or female. Using that criteria, the prevalence of DSD is about 0.018%. Read more here: https://resistgendereducation.substack.com/p/the-intersex-red-herring How many transgender people are there in New Zealand? A recent Statistics NZ Household Economic Survey of more than 31,000 people found that 4.2% identified as LGBT+ of which 0.8 % were transgender or non-binary. Rainbow community leaders expressed surprise that the number wasn’t higher and thought some people were unwilling to disclose their identities. The same questions will be asked in the 2023 census. Having the correct statistics for transgender people is important so we know how many people are affected by transgender issues and also how much resource should equitably be allocated to their specific needs. Do all transgender people have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria? Not any more. Gender dysphoria is a well-documented psychological condition that used to mainly affect men. Hormone and surgical treatments were devised to assist adult men and a ‘watchful waiting’ approach was taken for young people with gender dysphoria because approximately 80% come to accept their biological sex as adults. In the past twelve years two major changes have happened: Firstly, there has been an exponential rise in the number of children and teenagers attending gender transition clinics around the Western world. In the UK, over the ten years from 2009 to 2019, the increase was more than 1,400% for boys and more than 5,000% for girls, meaning girls are now far more likely to identify as transgender than are boys. Very high rates of autism, psychiatric disorders and a history of trauma had often been diagnosed in these patients before they announced they wanted to change gender. Secondly, many transgender people are claiming a new gender identity without a diagnosis of dysphoria and sometimes even without intending to have any hormonal or surgical treatment. Because of these changes, “transgender” is now an umbrella term that does include some people with diagnosed gender dysphoria, but also many people who are simply non-conforming to gender stereotypes or who like cross-dressing. Do transgender people have worse mental health problems and higher suicide rates than the general population? Counting Ourselves, a frequently quoted NZ survey of 1,100 trans and non-binary people, reported that 71% of the respondents disclosed psychological distress and 56% had thought about attempting suicide in the past 12 months, with 37% having attempted suicide at some time, but there are serious flaws in the report’s methodology and questions. These statistics are repeatedly given as irrefutable fact but Counting Ourselves, and other similar surveys, are not a random sample of a population and cannot be verified against a control group. Further, asking respondents to self-report attempted suicide is known to overestimate the rate. The report itself says “our use of nonprobability sampling means that the generalizability of our results to the wider transgender population in Aotearoa/New Zealand and beyond should be interpreted with caution”. Suicide rarely has one cause and it is difficult for studies to extricate gender dysphoria from other factors. Although trans-identified people do suffer worse mental health than the general population, they also have higher rates of anxiety, depression, trauma, and neurological conditions that usually predate the trans identity. Most surveys do not take into account pre-existing conditions or co-morbidities and simply attribute the poor mental health to being transgender. Exaggerated suicide statistics are being used as a form of emotional blackmail (“Better a live daughter than a dead son”) to push parents, clinicians, and others into acquiescing to irreversible treatments for minors. The UK Gender Identity Development Service states on its website: “The majority of the children and young people we see do not self harm, nor do they make attempts to end their own life. Although there is a higher rate of self-harm in the young people who are seen at GIDS compared to all teenagers, it is a similar rate to that seen in local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).” There is little evidence that medical transition decreases suicidality or that puberty blockers are necessary to prevent suicide. A long-term Swedish study found that post-operative transgender people have “considerably higher risks for suicidal behaviour”. A study published in the British Medical Journal in February 2024 found that suicide among young people seeking gender services in Finland is an unusual event (0.3%, or 0.51 per 1,000 person-years). The study found no convincing evidence that gender-referred youth have statistically significantly higher suicide rates as compared to the general population, after controlling for psychiatric needs. The authors concluded that "it is of utmost importance to identify and appropriately treat mental disorders in adolescents experiencing GD [gender dysphoria] to prevent suicide, while also noting that "the risk of suicide-related to transgender identity and/or GD per se may have been overestimated." What is the problem with banning conversion therapy? The Conversion Therapy Practices Prohibition Act will come into force in 2023 and is intended to protect all LGBTQIA+ people from conversion therapy, which is defined as any practice that tries to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. However, including gender identity in this Act may prevent young people from receiving the most appropriate care for their gender dysphoria. Although health practitioners are permitted to take an action if they consider “in their reasonable professional judgement it is appropriate” it is not clear whether parents and counsellors will have the same protection. Under threat of possible prosecution, some may feel forced to affirm a transgender identity instead of investigating other possible causes of gender dysphoria or delaying treatment while waiting for the patient to mature. The UK government has delayed a similar bill after the Equalities and Human Rights Commission urged careful and detailed consideration of its significant and wide-ranging implications. After announcing in January 2023 that a bill banning conversion therapy was imminent, by May 2023, the UK government has not yet introduced it.

  • Flying Blind

    Watching the beliefs of gender identity ideology becoming entrenched in our education system has led many parents and teachers to question what rights they have when faced with this ideology: Can the school keep it a secret if my child adopts a transgender identity at school? Could our family be investigated by Oranga Tamariki if we refuse to go along with social transitioning? How can we protect our child from being taught transgender beliefs in classes right across the curriculum? Would parents be informed if an opposite sex student was enrolled in a single-sex school and was using facilities with the other students? What happens if a teacher refuses to teach that sex is on a spectrum? Do students or staff have the right to ask others to use their preferred opposite sex or neo pronouns (as that is their protected belief) AND is there a matching right for students and staff to decline to do so (as that is their protected belief)? We put these, and several other burning questions, into Official Information Act requests to various government bodies. We asked what legal advice had been sought before gender identity policies were implemented , and received these full and frank answers: The Ministry of Education : The Ministry has not sought any legal advice in relation to the specific questions mentioned in your request and therefore your request has been refused under Section 18(e) of the Act. The Ministry of Justice : The Ministry of Justice does not hold any of the information you have requested, therefore I must refuse your request under section 18(e) of the Act. The Attorney-General : Crown Law has searched its records and can find no record of any legal advice on the above questions. The Teaching Council : We have considered your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) and I can advise as follows. As we have neither sought or received any legal advice in relation to any of these questions, we must refuse your request under section 18(e) of the OIA - as the information sought does not exist. You get the picture… Although there are obvious clashes between the Care of Children Act, the Privacy Act, the Human Rights Act, and the Bill of Rights, our education, welfare and justice systems have not asked even the most basic questions about the legal implications of gender ideology. Aotearoa is flying blindly into an ideological storm and a medical scandal with no-one in the pilot’s seat. Parents’ rights are limited We did get some proper, although bleak, answers from the Privacy Commissioner: The Privacy Act 2020 doesn’t differentiate between children and adults – each individual has their own privacy rights, and accordingly, parents are not automatically allowed to receive information about their children. Our Office considers matters on a case-by-case basis, but generally speaking, a trans* child has their own right to privacy. It’s up to them if they’re willing to share the information with a parent or guardian. The Care of Children Act doesn’t override the child’s right to privacy. Parents and guardians can still be informed about their child’s care and education, without needing to be informed of a trans* child’s identity before they are willing or able to share that with them. Under the Privacy Act, an individual can only request their personal information (subject to authorising someone else to do so on their behalf), so there is no right to be ‘informed’ of any student’s sex. This advice concurs with the legal opinion we had sought earlier. You can read the summary of it here and a testimonial here that describes the devastating effect of this policy on one family. Many parents will be shocked to learn that a school may choose to keep their child’s gender transition at school a secret while at the same time seeking permission from parents before providing panadol. Errant parents need coaching If privacy law is not bleak enough, the response from Oranga Tamariki to our question about families being investigated if they refuse to go along with social transitioning adds further gloom: Oranga Tamariki takes all allegations of harm seriously and if an individual has concerns for the wellbeing of tamariki, it is our role to assess them. In the scenario described in your request, part of our assessment focus would be on the relationship between the tamariki and their parent/guardian to understand the seriousness of the differences that exist that might stem from interpersonal disputes or different belief systems within their household around the chosen gender identity of te tamaiti and whether these are care and protection concerns… Gender identity is self-defined. It is a person’s internal, deeply felt sense of being male, female, gender queer, trans, non-binary, gender fluid or other. We must be respectful of an individual’s gender identity, particularly in regard to recording gender identity for children, young people and others… Finally, support and acceptance from parents and whanau or family is crucial for the well-being of gender-diverse tamariki and rangatahi. They may struggle to understand and accept the identity needs of their tamaiti or rangatahi and may need help to understand how to support them. (Emphasis added) So that’s a ‘yes’ to our question – families certainly could be investigated if they do not believe in soul-like gender identities and refuse to go along with harmful social transitioning. Oranga Tamariki cites the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) in defence of its policy, incorrectly stating that the UNCRoC’s support for children’s freedom of expression includes gender diversity and sexuality. In truth, the Convention does not mention either concept (it was written in 1989, after all) and states in Article 12: States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child. (Emphasis added). and, tellingly, in Article 14: States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child. (Emphasis added) Blatantly re-interpreting the UNCRoC to suit its own agenda, Oranga Tamariki informed us: These rights are embedded in the principles of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, and reflected in the National Care Standards Regulations, which specify that gender identity and sexual orientation are part of identity and cultural needs. This leaves parents with a duty of care towards their children that they are unable to fully exercise because it is being actively usurped by the policies of Oranga Tamariki and other government agencies. Re-education for teachers If parents are in a no-win situation, what about teachers who don’t want to teach or implement the ideology? To our question about what rights teachers or schools might have to decline to teach gender identity ideology, the Ministry of Education responded with guidance on how teachers could re-educate themselves: The Ministry of Education provides guidance to teachers who may feel uncomfortable with topics in relationship and sexuality education. We suggest that it may be useful for teachers to support each other (or seek extra support from others) if needed to reflect upon teaching practice in relation to feeling uncomfortable or being in conflict with their values, attitudes and beliefs. This will help teachers to think critically about the questions and responses they are providing in class when these feelings arise . We note that it is important for students to see adults model that it is okay to talk about relationship and sexuality-related topics, and that a non-biased, non-judgemental, open and respectful approach is needed for this learning. (Emphasis added) The message to teachers is clear and is further reinforced by the Standards for the Teaching Profession that teachers are measured against every three years in order to renew their Practising Certificates. In a response to a similar OIA question in 2020, the Teaching Council stated: Our definition of Cultural Capability includes the statement: ‘a focus on cultural capability requires teachers and kaiako to recognise diversity of identities - including culture, gender, sexuality and ability - and to take action to amplify the views of those and their communities who have been marginalised .’… Teacher practices that embody these aspects of the code range from creating a safe classroom environment through to using the correct pronouns for each learner’s gender identity … Neglecting to uphold high quality teaching and learning or to create an inclusive learning culture is in breach of the Code . (Emphases added) Although not all schools are yet under the spell of gender ideology, in those schools that have heartily embraced the vogue, teachers are in an invidious position - toe the Ministry line or risk losing your profession. Opting out is not an option In response to our question about teachers or schools being permitted to opt out of pronoun choices and mixed sex changing rooms, the Ministry of Education re-iterated the information in its Relationship and Sexuality Guide : …we expect school policies and practices to protect and promote the safety and inclusion of all students, including transgender and non-binary students. Schools can do this by: Supporting transgender students to use the facilities (e.g. bathrooms and changing rooms) they feel safe and comfortable using; Ensuring transgender and non-binary students are supported to engage in sport and other physical activity in a way that is safe and inclusive; and Upholding transgender, intersex and non-binary students’ privacy by confirming the student’s wishes around what name and gender identity they would like used at school and in communication with parents and whānau. So that’s a ‘no’ to teachers being able to opt out and a ‘no’ to any consideration of the needs of students who are not transgender or non-binary. It also directly contradicts the Bill of Rights protection to hold (or not hold) a personal belief, without discrimination. Sex-based rights disappear We leave the last word to the Human Rights Commission. In its response, after accurately stating that the Human Rights Act “ prohibits discrimination against others on account of their race, colour, sex, disability and sexual orientation among others ”, the Commission boldly re-interprets that Act to include gender identity. It correctly advises that “ the protections that exist under the act for minorities and other vulnerable groups in society are not intended to limit the rights of others ”, and then asserts that women’s rights are not compromised by male-bodied people claiming them. The rights of cis women and trans women are not mutually exclusive under the Human Rights Act, and the Commission takes its role in promoting all women’s rights very seriously… The Commission’s PRISM report highlights the importance, to trans youth in particular, of the right to safely use a facility that matches their gender (see page 50 of the Commission’s 2020 Prism report )… The application of section 49 is determined on a case-by-case basis. Transgender people, like all people, have the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity and expression. A restriction on that right can only be justified to the extent that it is necessary and proportionate. The onus is on those wanting to exclude trans people – for example, trans women from women’s sport – to make the case for doing so. The HRC recommends that “ Complaints about discrimination between trans and cis women or girls… can be made to the Human Rights Commission’s dispute resolution service .” In other words, in the view of the HRC there are no longer any sex-based rights. Every single time safety, dignity, or fairness for women is compromised, an individual complaint must be made and will be assessed on its own merits, not in accordance with any overarching principle. Untested laws Until very recently, most of us would have felt confident that our parental, civil, and women’s rights were firmly protected under the Care of Children Act, the Human Rights Act, and the Bill of Rights. However, the answers to our OIA questions demonstrate that none of these rights are backed up by any confirming case law and are therefore on very shaky ground and wide open to trendy and reckless interpretations by our institutions. Despite the Ministry of Education in its 2020 OIA response stating categorically “ The Ministry of Education in New Zealand is not involved in the medical facilitation of transition ”, its policies blithely encourage schools to do just that, for example in this guide from the Hutt Valley High School website. In the same response, the Ministry repeatedly asserts “ The Ministry of Education takes an evidence-based approach to procurement and development and it relies on the knowledge and experience of our reputable experts in respective areas .” In its circular consultations only with a small group of organisations that agree with gender beliefs, one of the ‘reputable experts’ the MoE relies upon is the Human Rights Commission which promulgates its own interpretation of the Human Rights Act – what it would like the Act to say, rather than what it actually says. Unfortunately, our institutions are so captured by gender identity ideology that, if your family has been detrimentally affected by these government policies, the only recourse you may have is to complain to the Ombudsman or to take a case to court. What do gender identity supporters believe? Gender identity activism is based on a belief that everyone has an innate sense of being masculine, feminine, or neither, and that this feeling does not always correlate with their sexed bodies. They believe that a person’s gender identity should take precedence over their observable sex and that everyone else must accept their self-identification. There is a range of views within gender identity activism, with some acknowledging that sex is an objective classification and others contending that sex is on a spectrum and that binary classifications are scientifically false. The more extreme activists say that there are hundreds or thousands of distinct and legitimate gender identities, all of which should be recognised by others. Extreme trans activists demand that the subjective concept of gender identity should replace the objective reality of sex in all government policy and law. For example, NZ law now allows anyone (including children) to have their birth certificate changed (multiple times) to the sex they self-declare. The fact that the birth certificate has been changed is permanently hidden from public view. Arty Morty's December 2023 substack, The War to Annihilate Sex clearly explains both sides of the debate and what is at stake. How do gender identity beliefs affect NZ schools? The Ministry of Education published the updated Relationship and Sexuality Education Guidelines (RSE) in September 2020 which is heavily supportive of gender identity thinking. Our critique of the Guidelines is here. The Guidelines are based on Gender Identity Theory that argues that everyone has an inner feeling of masculinity, femininity, or neither that is known only to themselves and should be automatically affirmed by others, including at school. The alternative explanation for gender distress, the Developmental Model Theory, is not mentioned at all. This theory recognises that there is a very long history of people developing behaviours to manage distress and becoming fixated on them - such as obsessive compulsive disorder, anorexia, cutting and now gender dysphoria. Given the right support, there is also a very long history of people recovering from these conditions, however the MOE Guidelines do not suggest this alternative approach to schools. Schools are required to consult their community on the contents of sexuality education and parents retain the right to withdraw their children from these lessons. However, parents are often unaware of the incidental discussion of trans beliefs in everyday classroom conversations. Advice on how to communicate with your school on this issue is here. In the name of being inclusive and kind, schools and other students feel they must use new names and pronouns (see below) for transgender children and must provide special facilities for them. The RSE guidelines direct schools to allow students to use the facilities “of the gender identity they are most comfortable with” and students are often not consulted or are pressured into agreeing with that policy. The RSE guide encourages schools to support a child’s social transition (see below) without mentioning the need to consult parents. Under the Education Act, principals are expected to inform parents of any matters that in the principal’s opinion “are preventing or slowing the student’s progress... (or) harming the student’s relationships with teachers or other students.” This expectation is entirely dependent on the principal’s opinion and there is no case law to clarify the extent or limits of the principal’s decision. If the principal is fully supportive of organisations like InsideOUT and follows its advice, parents will not be informed. Some parents of trans children are not informing the school of their child’s transition and the Human Rights Commission recommends that, if known, schools keep the transition a secret from other parents. This removes the right of other parents to know who their child shares space with in school changing rooms and on school camps. Rainbow organisations with good funding have been able to influence LGBTQ education in schools in many Western countries, including NZ. Under the guise of anti-bullying programmes, many schools contract out to activist groups to provide sex education that confuses children about biological reality and can persuade them to claim a gender identity. Support groups for lesbians and gays in schools are disappearing in favour of transgender support. It has become ‘uncool’ to be lesbian and the attention and compassion for the rainbow community is now mostly reserved for those with a trans identity. In the past, children who were gay or lesbian were often bullied. Now it is becoming common for children to be bullied for not being ‘queer’. Some children have discovered that adopting a non-binary persona is a necessary safeguard. What is the problem with preferred pronouns and inclusive language? Contrary to trans activists’ claims, requiring people to use ‘preferred pronouns’ is not inclusive, nor is it kind. It forces everyone to take sides in an ideological belief and can lead to bullying of those who choose the ‘wrong’ pronouns for themselves, or accidentally use the ‘wrong’ pronoun for others. Using preferred pronouns has become a linguistic game that “cultivates fragility, entitlement ... and brainwashes children into hating their bodies.” Pronouns have become weaponised, leading to accusations of ‘misgendering’ that are used to excessively punish small perceived errors in speech with charges of bigotry and violence. ‘Preferred pronouns’ are touted as a mark of respect but they are more often a mark of submission. Many people object to being compelled to use chosen pronouns, for example in cases where female victims of violence have been required to address their male abusers as ‘she’. Trans activists, representing about 1% of the population, are demanding radical changes to the language for the other 99%. ‘Women’ has been given a circular and nonsensical new meaning: a woman is now any person who feels like a woman. Medical terms for women’s anatomy and bodily functions are being discarded in favour of words that are disconnected from women altogether: vagina becomes ‘front hole’; breast-feeding becomes ‘chest feeding’; mother becomes ‘birthing parent’. Pride in being a girl, woman or a mother is taken away. These new terms, designed for the comfort of a very few, will result in disadvantaged women and girls being even further distanced from the health care they need. Is social transition harmless? Social transition can mean anything from choosing a gender-neutral nickname and wearing androgynous clothing, right through to adopting an opposite sex name, pronouns, and clothes and wanting to be recognised as the opposite sex by everyone else in all facets of life. Far from being “kind and affirming” as claimed, it fixes the new identity and makes it harder for children to later change their minds. When everyone else is expected to go along with the fiction, children are learning that affirming another’s belief is what matters and questioning is wrong. What is ROGD? Dr Lisa Littman, Public Health Assistant Professor at Brown University, coined the term Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) after studying the phenomenon of the sudden onset of gender dysphoria amongst girls belonging to a peer group where multiple friends have become transgender-identified during the same timeframe, often accompanied by lengthy periods spent on social media and the internet. Some of the results from Littman’s study are: 41% of the participants had expressed a non-heterosexual sexual orientation before identifying as transgender; 62.5% had been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder or neurodevelopmental disability prior to the onset of gender dysphoria; in 36.8% of the friendship groups, the majority of the friends became trans-identified; and 49.4% tried to isolate from their families. Boys and young men also experience ROGD. Some of their stories have been collected in a four part Quillette series. There has been a twenty fold rise in the number of people seeking transition, with teenagers hugely-overrepresented. Between 2007 and 2017, the number of transgender youth clinics in the US went from 1 to 41 and the number continues to increase. A survey in the UK has found a 15 fold increase in children being referred for gender treatment since 2010, and also a marked regional difference with referrals in Blackpool three times the national rate. In this 5 minute video, Abigail Shrier explains the phenomenon of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) and its tragic effects on a generation of (mostly) girls. Shrier is the author of Irreversible Damage: the transgender craze seducing our daughters. What is the problem with puberty blockers? Puberty blockers are an experimental treatment that is too readily prescribed to young people who cannot fully understand the consequences. Puberty blockers are drugs that were developed for the treatment of prostate cancer and they have never been certified as safe and effective for treating gender dysphoria. Multiple reviews of the use of puberty blockers have all found a lack of evidence for their safety or efficacy. These reviews include: Finland 2020 revised its treatment guidelines, prioritising psychological interventions and support over medical interventions. Sweden 2021 The Karolinska Hospital ceased the use of puberty blockers for those aged under 18. Sweden 2022 Following a comprehensive review, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare concluded that the evidence base for hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth is of low quality and that hormonal treatments may carry risks. As a result of this determination, the eligibility for pediatric gender transition with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in Sweden will be sharply curtailed. France 2022 The French National Academie of Medicine recommended caution in the use of puberty blockers: “...the greatest reserve is required in their use, given the side effects such as impact on growth, bone fragility, risk of sterility, emotional and intellectual consequences and, for girls, symptoms reminiscent of menopause”. Florida 2022 The Florida Department of Health issued new guidelines on treating gender dysphoria for children and adolescents which recommends that minors should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy. United Kingdom 2022 An independent review, led by Dr Hilary Cass, highlighted a profound lack of evidence and medical consensus about the best approach to treating gender dysphoria in children. Norway 2023 After a review, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board stated it has serious concerns about the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and that the current ‘gender affirming’ guidelines are not evidence-based and must be revised. Denmark 2023 In a marked shift in the country's approach to caring for youth with gender dysphoria, most youth who are referred to the centralised gender clinic now receive therapeutic counselling and support, rather than a prescription for puberty blockers. New Zealand 2022 In September 2022, the NZ Ministry of Health website quietly removed its description of puberty blockers as being “safe and fully reversible” and replaced it with “Blockers are sometimes used from early puberty through to later adolescence to allow time to fully explore gender health options.” Unlawful. In this article, Bernard Lane describes how the NZ Ministry of Health was warned by Medsafe in September 2022 it could be breaking the law by publicising the off-label use of puberty blockers for children. Questions mount around the use of puberty blockers in children. by Jan Rivers. "New Zealand rates of puberty blocker use are much higher than the UK, where the Tavistock Clinic’s Gender Service (GIDS) was closed due to unsafe practices. In New Zealand, Dr Sue Bagshaw reports that 65 per cent of her clinic’s 100 patients receive them. The Tavistock GIDS clinic prescribed blockers to about 6 per cent." Flaws in Dutch Puberty Blocker Study 2023 A peer-reviewed open access publication has exposed deep flaws in the Dutch studies that formed the foundation for youth gender transition and concluded that these studies should never have been used to launch the practice of youth gender transition into mainstream medicine. Puberty blockers are wrongly claimed to be fully reversible. Short term studies have shown changes to height, lower bone density, and potential interference with brain function, while long term effects are unknown. Treating gender dysphoria with puberty blockers is a medical experiment which may leave young people in a state of ‘developmental limbo’ without the beneficial effects of puberty on maturation and the development of secondary sex characteristics. A 2021 Swedish documentary described finding “case after case of irreversible treatment of young people gone wrong", including a 15 year old who has constant pain from severely reduced bone density after being on puberty blockers for four years. Nearly all young people who start puberty blockers go on to life-long use of cross sex hormones and their irreversible effects. In a study carried out by the Gender Identity Development Service in the UK, of 44 children who were referred for puberty blockers between the ages of 12 and 15, all except one – 98% of the cohort – progressed to cross-sex hormones. Studies have shown that a large majority (around 80%) of trans identified youth grow up to change their minds and accept their biological sex. The current rush to affirm a trans identity by some counsellors, clinicians and parents means large numbers of children are being medicalised when a ‘watchful waiting’ approach would have been most appropriate. March 2024. The WPATH Files were published, revealing that 'gender-affirming care" is leading to widespread medical malpractice on children and vulnerable adults. The “WPATH files” are documents leaked from the internal chatboard of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). The leaked files reveal that treatments may do more harm than good, and suggest that some clinicians who are members of WPATH know this. (Sex Matters) In this Quillette article, Bernard Lane gives an overview of the use of puberty blockers as a routine treatment for gender distress and the resulting medical scandal. In a new study (2024), the Mayo Clinic has found mild to severe atrophy in the testes of boys on puberty blockers, leading the authors to express doubt in the claims that these drugs are 'safe and reversible'. Which countries have restricted the use of puberty blockers and other medical treatments of gender distress in minors? France 2024 French senators have published a report that expresses alarm at the excesses of child gender transition and have proposed a bill to put an end to it. England 2024: The NHS will no longer routinely prescribe puberty blockers at gender identity clinics in England and Wales. (Scotland NHS is a separate body.) The Netherlands 2024: The Dutch government has passed a motion to conduct research into the physical and mental health outcomes of children given puberty blockers. Denmark 2023 In a marked shift in the country's approach to caring for youth with gender dysphoria, most youth who are referred to the centralised gender clinic now receive therapeutic counselling and support, rather than a prescription for puberty blockers. Norway 2023 After a review, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board stated it has serious concerns about the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and that the current ‘gender affirming’ guidelines are not evidence-based and must be revised. Sweden 2021 The Karolinska Hospital ceased the use of puberty blockers for those aged under 18 . Finland 2020 revised its treatment guidelines, prioritising psychological interventions and support over medical interventions. USA 2023-24: A total of 22 states have so far passed laws protecting children from routine medicalisation of gender distress. The laws vary in what they proscribe and in the penalties imposed and some of them are subject to ongoing legal challenges. This interactive map provides state by state details. New Zealand 2022: In September of that year the Ministry of Health website quietly removed its description of puberty blockers as being “safe and fully reversible” and initiated a review into their safety and efficacy. We are still awaiting that report. What has happened in Sweden? As with other Western nations, in the mid 2000s, Sweden enthusiastically started treating children who had gender dysphoria with hormones, followed by genital surgery. However, in late 2019, there was a sharp 65% decline in the number of referrals to gender clinics in Sweden, as shown in the graph below. This sharp decline corresponds with experts calling on the government to review treatment protocols and with the airing of a television documentary – Trans Train – that revealed to the population that medical transition of minors is not based on scientific evidence. In April 2021, Sweden announced a new policy for the treatment of gender dysphoric minors. Those under 18 will no longer be prescribed puberty blockers or cross sex hormones and doctors are required to give better explanations of the risks and uncertainties of transition. Following a comprehensive review, in February 2022 the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare concluded that the evidence base for hormonal interventions for gender dysphoric youth is of low quality and that hormonal treatments may carry risks. As a result of this determination, the eligibility for pediatric gender transition with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in Sweden will be sharply curtailed. For most youth, psychiatric care and gender-exploratory psychotherapy will be offered instead. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis, and the number of clinics providing paediatric gender transition will be reduced to a few highly specialised centralised care centres. What has happened in the United Kingdom? The exponential rise in teenage girls seeking medical gender transition began to raise alarm bells and the Keira Bell case confirmed that there are serious questions about the efficacy and long term impact of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. In April 2021 a report by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) found the evidence for using puberty blocking drugs to treat young people struggling with their gender identity is “very low”. A further independent review, led by Dr Hilary Cass, released an interim report in March 2022 that highlights a profound lack of evidence and medical consensus about the best approach to treating gender dysphoria in children. This is Dr Cass's latest update (Dec 2022) about the proposed changes to the UK's transgender medicine services. Following the interim Cass Report, in April 2022, the UK Health Secretary,Sajid Javid, announced an urgent review into gender treatment services for children in England, saying that services in this area were too affirmative and narrow, and “bordering on the ideological”. In December 2022 the Scottish parliament passed a bill allowing sex-self-ID. In January 2023, the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak announced his government would block the legislation. Days later, Nicola Sturgeon, the then Scottish First Minister was embroiled in a controversy about a rapist who had self-identified into a women's prison. Time to Think by Hannah Barnes was published in January 2023. This Guardian review of the Gender Identity development service describes, "As referrals to Gids grew rapidly – in 2009, it had 97; by 2020, this figure was 2,500 – so did pressure on the service. Barnes found that the clinic – which employed an unusually high number of junior staff, to whom it offered no real training – no longer had much time for the psychological work (the talking therapies) of old. But something else was happening, too. Trans charities such as Mermaids were closely – too closely – involved with Gids. Such organisations vociferously encouraged the swift prescription of drugs. This now began to happen, on occasion, after only two consultations. Once a child was on blockers, they were rarely offered follow-up appointments. Gids did not keep in touch with its patients in the long term, or keep reliable data on outcomes." In March 2024 the NHS (National Health Service) announced that puberty blockers would no longer be routinely prescribed in England and Wales. (Scotland's NHS is a separate body.) What are the effects of cross sex hormones? For females, taking testosterone irreversibly deepens the voice, promotes the growth of facial and body hair, and enlarges the clitoris. It also can thicken the blood, increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack. Body fat is redistributed and sweat and body odour are affected. Vaginal atrophy (the thinning and drying of the vaginal wall) is usual and menstruation is reduced or ceases. Initially there is often a ‘high’ produced by the increased testosterone, with anxiety and emotional responses markedly reduced, but this may not last long term. For males, taking oestrogen causes the development of breasts, a reduction in muscle mass and body hair, reduced testicular size and sperm count, the redistribution of fat, a change in sweat and body odour and changes in emotions. For both sexes there is a loss of sexual function – vaginal atrophy in females (drier vaginal walls can cause pain during sex), and reduced erectile function in males. Both sexes can experience a change in sexual interest, arousal, and orgasm. There is also possible infertility in both sexes caused by the reduced ovulation and sperm production. Children who move directly from puberty blockers to artificial sex hormones will never go through the puberty for their sex and boys’ penises will remain permanently immature, at the size of a child’s. Gender-affirming surgery that includes hysterectomy and oophorectomy in transmen (females) or orchiectomy in transwomen (males) results in permanent sterility. What is the reality of a sex change operation? A lot of the hype around gender identity ideology says that sex re-assignment surgery is simple and that it will make the patient indistinguishable from someone born as the desired sex. The euphemisms used of ‘top surgery’ or ‘bottom surgery’ blatantly hide the truth. All sex-reassignment surgery is potentially dangerous, often disfiguring, and it never provides the full appearance and function of natural genitalia. Young people are being misled. Sex re-assignment surgery also permanently sterilises the patient through castration of males and the removal of the ovaries and uterus of females. Here are two accounts from people who have undergone the surgery, one from Scott Newgent and one from Melissa Vulgaris, describing what it was like for them. In this interview, detransitioner Ritchie Herron describes the catastrophic effects of his gender surgery which he says was "the biggest mistake of my life." On GB News, detransitioners Keira Bell and Ritchie Herron describe the lack of information they were given about the side effects of surgery and the pressure they felt under to agree to the recommendations of their doctors and therapists. What is a detransitioner? A detransitioner is a person who has undergone medical and/or surgical transition to the opposite gender but has later come to regret this choice and has reverted to their biological sex. Here is a personal account of detransitioning from Ellie and Nele and another from Sinead Watson. After ceasing the taking of cross sex hormones some of the changes wrought may be diminished but many of them, especially of course any surgeries, are irreversible. Reports that the percentage of people with regret is very low usually do not take into account the enormous and rapid increase in those identifying as transgender in the past ten years and websites to support detransitioners have attracted followers in the tens of thousands. A recent study by Dr Lisa Littman suggests that detransition is under-reported and needs to be comprehensively studied to develop alternative, non-invasive approaches to treating gender dysphoria for young people. In this interview, detransitoner Ritchie Herron describes the catastrophic effects of his gender surgery which he says was "the biggest mistake of my life." On GB News, detransitioners Keira Bell and Ritchie Herron describe the lack of information they were given about the side effects of surgery and the pressure they felt under to agree to the recommendations of their doctors and therapists. Are trans rights an extension of gay rights? Are trans rights human rights? Everyone, including transgender people, has human rights as stated by the United Nations Declaration. Trans rights activists seek to claim extra rights that others don’t have, for example, to be able to keep secret a previous identity, or to be able to prescribe how language is used. Gay rights concern the right for consenting adults to have same-sex relationships and to have the same rights as heterosexual people. Trans rights, on the other hand, seek the extra right to self-identify into a protected group and be eligible for that group’s special discretions. Gay rights accept that there are two sexes, the distinct reproductive capacity of each, and do not denmand medical or surgical treatments. Trans rights reject the science of sex and claim that what a person thinks and feels is of most importance and that those thoughts and feelings can literally transform a body into the opposite sex. Trans rights dictate that everyone adheres to the trans way of interpreting and describing gender and sex. Trans rights demand medical and surgical treatment as a right and put transgender people, often young people influenced by social media, onto a conveyor belt of lifelong medicalisation. Gay rights do not require others to forfeit anything or demand fundamental changes to everyday language. Trans rights insist on the forfeiture of single sex spaces, sports, scholarships, representation, and even language. Trans rights push to censor the words used to describe women and women’s bodies – foundational words like ‘mother’ or ‘woman’ – and replace them with dehumanising words like ‘birthing parent’, ‘bodies with vaginas’ and ‘people who menstruate’. Transgender activists are undermining gay rights by claiming same-sex attraction is really same-gender attraction and by denying biological reality. Without biological sex, there is no homosexuality. Arty Morty's December 2023 substack "The War to Annihilate Sex" looks at the gender debate from his perspective as a gay man. What is the definition of a woman? Until very recently, everyone would have answered this question with the perfectly clear dictionary definition: “adult human female.” However, in the past few years many people have become so caught up in gender ideology, or so afraid of being labelled transphobic, that they find the question impossible to answer. Despite a large number of politicians, journalists, a US Supreme Court Judge nominee, and various celebrities being unable to define the term and tying themselves in knots in the effort, every woman remains, and always will be, an “adult human female”. A female is born with the reproductive anatomy to produce eggs and bear young. Even if a female’s reproductive anatomy is incomplete or inactive, or she has had a hysterectomy, every adult human female is still a woman. Does the existence of intersex people prove sex is on a spectrum? How common are intersex conditions? Intersex should more correctly be called DSD - differences in sex development. It is a medical condition not a gender identity and therefore has nothing in common with the trans rights socio-political campaign. Intersex conditions have been co-opted by trans activists in an attempt to try to prove that sex is on a spectrum. Whether a person is male or female is the result of a complex interaction of chromosomes, genes, and hormones, and this intricate process does not always go fully to plan. In other words, some humans are born with differences in sex development (DSD). This in no way counters the fact that in the vast majority of cases – 99% – the complex process does work and humans can be reliably classified as male or female in the first trimester of pregnancy. Sex is not on a spectrum. The only time sex is “assigned” at birth is in the very rare cases where the baby’s physical genitalia are not immediately classifiable as male or female. In all other births, sex is observed and recorded at birth. A small number of people are born with ambiguous genitalia or internal organs that don’t match their chromosomes. Claims that 1.7% of people are intersex (the same as the incidence of red hair) have been inflated by including in the count those with conditions such as Klinefelter or Turner syndromes. People with these syndromes are always male (Klinefelter) or female (Turner) who have chromosomal abnormalities; they are not intersex. To retain its proper meaning, the DSD label (intersex) should be restricted to those conditions where chromosomes and genitalia are inconsistent and not classifiable as male or female. Using that criteria, the prevalence of DSD is about 0.018%. Read more here: https://resistgendereducation.substack.com/p/the-intersex-red-herring How many transgender people are there in New Zealand? A recent Statistics NZ Household Economic Survey of more than 31,000 people found that 4.2% identified as LGBT+ of which 0.8 % were transgender or non-binary. Rainbow community leaders expressed surprise that the number wasn’t higher and thought some people were unwilling to disclose their identities. The same questions will be asked in the 2023 census. Having the correct statistics for transgender people is important so we know how many people are affected by transgender issues and also how much resource should equitably be allocated to their specific needs. Do all transgender people have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria? Not any more. Gender dysphoria is a well-documented psychological condition that used to mainly affect men. Hormone and surgical treatments were devised to assist adult men and a ‘watchful waiting’ approach was taken for young people with gender dysphoria because approximately 80% come to accept their biological sex as adults. In the past twelve years two major changes have happened: Firstly, there has been an exponential rise in the number of children and teenagers attending gender transition clinics around the Western world. In the UK, over the ten years from 2009 to 2019, the increase was more than 1,400% for boys and more than 5,000% for girls, meaning girls are now far more likely to identify as transgender than are boys. Very high rates of autism, psychiatric disorders and a history of trauma had often been diagnosed in these patients before they announced they wanted to change gender. Secondly, many transgender people are claiming a new gender identity without a diagnosis of dysphoria and sometimes even without intending to have any hormonal or surgical treatment. Because of these changes, “transgender” is now an umbrella term that does include some people with diagnosed gender dysphoria, but also many people who are simply non-conforming to gender stereotypes or who like cross-dressing. Do transgender people have worse mental health problems and higher suicide rates than the general population? Counting Ourselves, a frequently quoted NZ survey of 1,100 trans and non-binary people, reported that 71% of the respondents disclosed psychological distress and 56% had thought about attempting suicide in the past 12 months, with 37% having attempted suicide at some time, but there are serious flaws in the report’s methodology and questions. These statistics are repeatedly given as irrefutable fact but Counting Ourselves, and other similar surveys, are not a random sample of a population and cannot be verified against a control group. Further, asking respondents to self-report attempted suicide is known to overestimate the rate. The report itself says “our use of nonprobability sampling means that the generalizability of our results to the wider transgender population in Aotearoa/New Zealand and beyond should be interpreted with caution”. Suicide rarely has one cause and it is difficult for studies to extricate gender dysphoria from other factors. Although trans-identified people do suffer worse mental health than the general population, they also have higher rates of anxiety, depression, trauma, and neurological conditions that usually predate the trans identity. Most surveys do not take into account pre-existing conditions or co-morbidities and simply attribute the poor mental health to being transgender. Exaggerated suicide statistics are being used as a form of emotional blackmail (“Better a live daughter than a dead son”) to push parents, clinicians, and others into acquiescing to irreversible treatments for minors. The UK Gender Identity Development Service states on its website: “The majority of the children and young people we see do not self harm, nor do they make attempts to end their own life. Although there is a higher rate of self-harm in the young people who are seen at GIDS compared to all teenagers, it is a similar rate to that seen in local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).” There is little evidence that medical transition decreases suicidality or that puberty blockers are necessary to prevent suicide. A long-term Swedish study found that post-operative transgender people have “considerably higher risks for suicidal behaviour”. A study published in the British Medical Journal in February 2024 found that suicide among young people seeking gender services in Finland is an unusual event (0.3%, or 0.51 per 1,000 person-years). The study found no convincing evidence that gender-referred youth have statistically significantly higher suicide rates as compared to the general population, after controlling for psychiatric needs. The authors concluded that "it is of utmost importance to identify and appropriately treat mental disorders in adolescents experiencing GD [gender dysphoria] to prevent suicide, while also noting that "the risk of suicide-related to transgender identity and/or GD per se may have been overestimated." What is the problem with banning conversion therapy? The Conversion Therapy Practices Prohibition Act will come into force in 2023 and is intended to protect all LGBTQIA+ people from conversion therapy, which is defined as any practice that tries to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. However, including gender identity in this Act may prevent young people from receiving the most appropriate care for their gender dysphoria. Although health practitioners are permitted to take an action if they consider “in their reasonable professional judgement it is appropriate” it is not clear whether parents and counsellors will have the same protection. Under threat of possible prosecution, some may feel forced to affirm a transgender identity instead of investigating other possible causes of gender dysphoria or delaying treatment while waiting for the patient to mature. The UK government has delayed a similar bill after the Equalities and Human Rights Commission urged careful and detailed consideration of its significant and wide-ranging implications. After announcing in January 2023 that a bill banning conversion therapy was imminent, by May 2023, the UK government has not yet introduced it.

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