£0 – £30

Inventing the Transgender Child, a new Sex Education? Conference. 27 Oct 19

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Inventing the Transgender Child, a new Sex Education? Conference Advertised til 15.9.19 as "Children & Young People: Sex, Gender, Sexual

About this Event

This one day conference, organised by the Women’s Human Rights Campaign, explores Relationship Education (primary school) and Sex and Relationship Education (secondary school) in England and Wales with regard to the protected characteristics of sex, sexual orientation and gender reassignment. The conference will focus on the guidance, how the guidance may be interpreted, and how it can be potentially used to reinforce already established practices in schools which have been influenced by lobby organisations that promote the concept of ‘gender identity’ in schools.

The conference will be of interest to educationalists, policy makers, lawyers, teachers, parents, grandparents, politicians and anyone concerned to protect and safeguard children and young people.

At the moment, those who promote the teaching of ‘gender identity’ ideology in schools inaccurately claim this is mandated by the government guidance, and any objections to the content of Relationship Education and Sex and Relationship Education are framed by lobby organisations and the media as homophobic. The media largely ignore that many people are concerned about the science, politics and ethics of teaching 'gender identity' and of affirming ‘transgender identity’. Having attended the conference, you will have an understanding of the knowledge, ethical and political implications of substituting sex with the term ‘gender identity’.

Context

Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education (England) Regulations will come into force in September 2020. These regulations are founded on the Equality Act 2010 which places specific duties on service providers and public bodies to consider the needs of particular groups of people who share ‘protected characteristics’. In 2014 the Department for Education (DfE) provided advice for schools and local authorities whereby it is unlawful for a school to discriminate against pupils because of the protected characteristics of sex, sexual orientation, or gender re-assignment. Gender re-assignment does not require the pupil to be undertaking any medical procedures but rather ‘taking steps to live as the opposite gender or proposing to do so’ .

The forthcoming legislation is framed in terms of; (i) RSE’s purpose in enabling children to be safe and healthy ‘in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and off-line’ ; (ii) fostering equality, inclusivity, diversity, and tolerance in their relationships with each other; and (iii) preparing future citizens to be equipped for a tolerant, progressive liberal democratic society. While schools are required to teach the new subjects from September 2020, they are encouraged to follow the new guidance from September 2019. Although there is potential for RSE to genuinely promote children's rights and good safeguarding practices e.g. challenging abusive sexual behaviour, affirming girls' sex-based rights, and acknowledging (in age appropriate ways) the validity of same-sex relationships, the conference will address a number of critical concerns.

Critical Concerns

• The responsibility given to the school/ teacher to affirm a child’s self‐diagnosis of being the opposite ‘gender identity’, especially when this might influence children towards a medical treatment pathway which would result in probable infertility and leave them medical patients for life

• Teaching ideology as fact, promoting language and concepts which are anti‐science

• Taking away children’s rights to name biological reality

• Suggesting to young, gender non-conforming lesbians that they could have been ‘born in the wrong body’ i.e. they are male

• Forcing girls to share personal spaces with males and taking away their rights to privacy and dignity as well as their right to assert their boundaries as a sex

• Denial of children’s access to any other model of understanding ‘gender’ than ‘gender identity’

• Denial of children’s freedom to express thoughts and opinions which contradict ‘gender identity’ ideology, such as pointing out that someone is male or defining a girl correctly as a member of the female sex

• Although it is necessary to challenge the bullying of gender non-conforming children, teaching ‘gender identity’ in schools as an issue of human rights or as part of an anti‐bullying programme can outlaw any challenge to this orthodoxy as ‘discrimination and bigotry’

• Lack of safeguarding girls and boys from being exploited by adult activists with a political agenda

*This conference is sponsored by Julie Burchill

Programme (provisional) Titles of talks to follow.

9-10: Arrivals, Coffee and networking reception

10-10.45: Sheila Jeffreys

10.45 -11.30: Heather Brunskell-Evans

11.30-11.45: Comfort break

11.45- 12.30: Maureen O’Hara

LUNCH 12.30 -13.30

13.30 -14.15: Stephanie Davis-Arai

14.15 – 15.00: Susan Matthews

15.00 – 15.15: Comfort Break

15.15 – 16.00: Michele Moore

16.00- 16.30: Concerns from Tracy Shaw, Safe Schools Alliance

16.30 -17.00: Plenary to elucidate Actions to address coming changes to SRE. Thanks, summary and close– move to bar!

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