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Scotland: Schools to Tell Five-Year-Olds They Can ‘Choose’ Their Gender

Scotland
Delphine Dallison/Creative Commons

Children in Scotland are set to be told that “your gender is what you decide” from their first year at primary school under draft education guidelines.

Drawn up by the left-liberal Scottish National Party (SNP) government, Education Scotland, and regional National Health Service (NHS) boards, the guidelines will be part of a teaching resource to be used in Relationships, Sexual Health, and Parenthood lessons, which schools must provide as a “core” subject from early years alongside literacy and numeracy.

Teachers will be told to highlight the importance of challenging gender stereotypes in classes under the new guidelines, according to the Scotsman newspaper, which said the changes will come into effect next year.

The newspaper reports that the guidelines instruct teachers to tell children as young as five: “Your sex is what you are told by a doctor when you are born. Most people are told they are a male child (a boy) or a female child (a girl).

“Your gender is what you decide,” the draft guidelines then assert, adding: “People might think they know your gender because of the clothes you wear or the things you like to do. You are a unique person, you know who you are.”

A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which commissioned the new resource on behalf of a number of other agencies, said it was “still in its early early stages” but “will cover issues that young people themselves have told us are important to them such as consent, healthy relationships, emotions and feelings as well as LGBTI issues”.

“There is a recognition that current resources need to be updated to fully meet young people’s rights, experiences, and learning needs,” a spokesman for the NHS board told the Scotsman, noting that “the new learning and teaching resource has the backing of education and sexual health experts across Scotland”.

The spokesman added: “It is important that the advice and learning young people receive is relevant to its time and provides them with the knowledge and skills to help keep them safe and make the right decisions for themselves.”

While the SNP regularly boasts that Scotland is “leading the world” with regards to LGBT lobby-approved social policy, with first minister Nicola Sturgeon having led the nation’s biggest Pride parade last month, concerns have been expressed over whether the plans could confuse children.

Even the Education spokesman for the centrist Scottish Conservative Party — while saying it was “right that we teach children about gender diversity and the meaning of these terms” — cautioned that “many parents might feel this is too young for their children to learn about it”.

It was announced in June that the Scottish Government could face a legal challenge over separate guidance entitled Supporting Transgender Young People, which advises teachers not to tell parents if their child wants to “transition” without their permission.

According to the Christian Institute, which wrote to the government to express “significant concerns”, the advice instructs teachers to report to local authorities the names of parents who “struggle” with a child’s professed gender identity, and asserted that “children should be supported to explore and express their identity regardless of their age”.

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