Children used in gender neutral experiment on TV

gender-neutral-lanesend-primary-pupils-with-dr-javidTonight, that is Wednesday 17th August sees the first of two hour-long programmes that shows an experiment with 23 seven year olds from Lanesend primary school in Cowes.

The BBC have produced a program called ‘No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?‘ and the experiment is for the children to spend a term ‘gender neutral’.

I am a little surprised that a whole class and a whole term can be devoted to this experiment. Certainly in my school the children have a curriculum that is full and there would be little room to run an ‘experiment’ with them for the BBC.

Dr Javid Abelmoneim asks this question:

Is the way we treat boys and girls in childhood the real reason we still haven’t achieved true equality between men and women in adult life? And could stripping away the pink and blue – and the other more subtle ways that boys and girls are shaped to be different – be the way to raise kids with abilities and attitudes that are the same regardless of their gender?

An interesting question but experimenting on 27 children for a whole term?

This strikes me as slightly odd:

  • What effect will it have on the children?
  • Should we really allow this sort of reality TV to interfere with children’s education?

The experiment has attracted some criticism from Wiltshire councillor, Mary Douglas, who claimed it was “abusive” and “inappropriate”, she has also been slammed for suggesting transgender people are mentally ill which seems a little unfair if you are to take Transabled into the equation, and of course she is entitled to her opinion.

There does seem to be some confusion over gender identity with an ever growing list of of terms and is being added to on a daily basis. However Dr Javid claims that ‘this is absolutely not about gender identity’ and that ‘in no way could you imagine anyone ever trying to steer children in a way that’s harmful’

I would disagree with Dr Javid and actually many children have been steered in a harmful, abusive and cruel way by adults over the years.

He goes on to say: We’re talking about the BBC. I’m a Doctor. Their parents and teachers were involved.

Which may suggest that because he is a ‘Doctor’ that some how we should defer to his authority and that it is the ‘BBC’ that it has no bias.

and finishes saying ‘watch the programme and then if you still want to hold that view – well, then you’re daft.’

Well I hope I am not ‘daft’ for not holding the same opinion as the BBC and a Doctor and yet this programme is steering children in an experiment and we obviously can’t tell the results until it is finished.

A little disingenuous from a Doctor I feel.

So I am looking forward to the viewing.

Tune into BBC2 at 9pm to see the first of the two programmes. It will be on the BBC iPlayer after the broadcast if you are unable to watch tonight.


Gender Dysphoria in Children

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Gender Dysphoria – How much do we really understand?

As a father of two, the current growth in transgender transitioning of children worries me somewhat. I was watching a report on the BBC about two children who are changing their sex with the help of their parents, doctors and therapists.

Gender Dysphoria is a very real condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there’s a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.

According to the Tavistock Centre, the UK’s only centre specialising in gender issues in under-18s is the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which is based in London and has clinics across the UK.

  • ‘In the last two years, the number of children aged 10 or under who were referred to the NHS because they were unhappy with their biological gender has risen from 87 to 216, including 32 aged five or under over the last year’

I do not believe that a child has the understanding or capacity to make such a life changing decision at such a young age.

As an adult that is your decision, your responsibility and you should be supported in that. However, saying that I am concerned about that as well psychological effects that this can cause.

This is a definition of transgender from the BBC.

  • ‘Transgender is a term used to describe a person who does not identify as the gender that was assigned to them at birth – they may wish to be seen as a different gender or no gender at all’

So how exactly are we assigned a gender?

Surely if we are born as a male then our gender is that of a male and born as a female our gender is that of a female.

We are not born gender neutral so who is it that assigns our gender?

No one, certainly not the doctor.

When your child is born the doctor will look at your children’s genitals and tell you it is a boy or a girl. That is not an assignment it is a clinical observation, the same with weight, height or eye color. Those are descriptions, not assignments.

Interestingly whilst researching this post I cam across this:

  • A staggering 41 percent of transgender people in the United States have attempted to commit suicide, according to a new survey.

These statistics (if true) are just some of the sobering findings from a survey of more than 7,000 transgender people conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, released in October 2010.

Is this because of the rejection of the transgender agenda or because being transgender is psychologically very difficult?

There are differing opinions about this.

Certainly some transgender people go on to live a happy life but a percentage do not, sadly some take their lives and some surprisingly change back.

Is gender that fluid?

My doubts were raised about how we treat Gender Dysphoria was when I read about a group of ‘Transabled’ people.

They’re the people with fully functioning bodies, who are disabled by choice. Men and women who say they have the condition claim they feel trapped in their able bodies, much like, they say, like trans people feel born into the wrong gender.

I have read in different reports from different outlets and a documentary some years ago on the BBC reports that some have gone to extreme lengths to give themselves disabilities or to act disabled.

One man cut off his right arm with a “very sharp power tool”, and now calls himself ‘One Hand Jason’, telling everyone it had happened in a tragic accident.

Another dropped heavy concrete slabs on to his legs in order to get them amputated.

However doctors were able to save his legs from amputation, and though he now has a limp, he says he wishes to try again until they’re amputated.

People like One Hand Jason have been classified as ‘transabled’ feeling like imposters in their fully working bodies. Identifying as something they are not.

The condition has also been known by the medical name Body Integrity Identity Disorder since 2013.

  • “We define transability as the desire or the need for a person identified as able-bodied by other people to transform his or her body to obtain a physical impairment,” says Alexandre Baril, an academic who will present on ‘transability’ at a Social Sciences and Humanities session at the University of Ottawa.

The person could want to become deaf, blind, amputee, paraplegic. It’s a really, really strong desire.”

Clive Baldwin, an academic at St. Thomas University, says he’s interviewed 37 people with the condition to date.

This is again worrying and I certainly hope we won’t be removing peoples limbs.

If Body Integrity Identity Disorder is a psychological disorder because people identify with being disabled, is it really a stretch to say that could be said of those with Gender Dysphoria who identify with a different gender?

and what about our the children?

They are being given a choice of what gender they wish to be when they can barely tie their shoe laces up. It just doesn’t sit right with me and everything  know about children but i’m not an expert by any means.

I don’t know what the answer is but much more research to truly understand the ‘trans’ area is, what it means and how it is treated.

Whatever the answer is all trans people need to be treated with kindness, respect and dignity.