Students will no longer be taught that gender is on a spectrum
Ireland is routinely cited as a beacon of best practice on all matters transgender. Over the water, self-identification of legal gender was introduced in 2015. The Scottish Government — when pursuing their own ill-fated Gender Recognition Reform Bill — described it as a “well established system”. Now it seems the Irish are having second thoughts.
The context this time is not women’s rights — Limerick women’s prison still houses two trans women serving time for sexual offences — but schools. The impact of transgender ideology on children is perhaps even more worrying than the effect on women. Youngsters have been taught all sorts of nonsense about gender; there was even a BBC programme aimed at 9- to 12-year olds that asserted that there “are over 100 genders”.
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Now it seems that the Irish National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has dropped a proposal to help junior pupils “appreciate that sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are core parts of human identity and that each is experienced along a spectrum”. Following objections from parents, the curriculum will no longer teach that gender identity and expression are on a spectrum.
As a teacher, I’d say that is a good start — but scope remains for further improvement. The problem is gender identity. Coined in 1964 by an American psychoanalyst, gender identity is now accepted by too many people as some innate human characteristic: Andrew Doyle described it for UnHerd as a gendered soul.
As a transsexual, I’d point out that I don’t need to claim any gender identity to explain the distress I experienced about my sex. But children continue to be taught this quasi-religious concept. Some may be led into thinking that they have a gender identity that differs from their ”gender assigned at birth” — to use the jargon — and hence are not the boy or girl that reality knows them to be. Those children are at risk of psychological trauma, and worse.
This is happening in these islands in 2023. Yesterday, it was reported that sex education has been suspended in Isle of Man schools after a drag queen allegedly told 11-year-olds that there are 73 genders. When one child quite rightly pointed out that there are only two [sexes], the drag queen allegedly responded, “You’ve upset me,” and made the pupil leave the class.
False and harmful teaching does not become true and wholesome just by wrapping it in a rainbow flag and sprinkling it with sparkles. Children need to be taught the truth about sex and gender. There are two sexes, and we are all stuck with the one that was determined the moment we were conceived. But — at the same time — our sex should not constrain and restrict our personalities. If gender expression is a way in which we exhibit that personality, then of course there is a spectrum of gender expression. It has as many points on the way as there are people in the world.
Governments and administrations need to dump the ideology and promote the truth — in schools and elsewhere. Everyone is different, and we can celebrate that without abandoning the reality that there are but two sexes.