A British city council distributed a gender survey to every secondary school in the cities of Brighton and Hove, England, according to The Argus, asking teens to choose from 25 categories.
The government-sponsored Children’s Commissioner for England devised the survey specifically for 13 to 18-year-olds to discover “how gender matters to young people.”
At issue was Question 13, which asked, “How do you define your gender?” These were the options from which students were instructed to select:
- All genders
- Gender fluid
- Gender nonconforming
- In the middle of boy and girl
- Not sure
- Other/s (please state)
- Rather not say
- Young man
- Young woman
Teens were told to check “as many as they wanted” for their answer.
According to one Brighton columnist, the city council and school system was “unnecessarily making all teenagers question their basic identity.” A Daily Mail editorial labeled the question “frankly bizarre,” suggesting it would create, “uncertainty and distress in the minds of all-too-vulnerable adolescents.”
Deputy Director Simon Calvert of the British think tank, The Christian Institute, remarked that for some children the survey will confuse them because it reveals that “there are adults who don’t seem to know that boys are boys and girls are girls.” Suggesting these 25 labels exist and/or are valid also creates an unsafe environment and encourages deviant behavior.
Alternatively, it is right, good, and helpful to confirm what these teens already know: human sexuality is solely defined within the context of male and female genders.
We feel for people who struggle with gender dysphoria but we must not let our sympathy for them outweigh our sympathy for the great mass of children who need to feel safe and protected in school.
To feel safe, children need to know there are some simple boundaries in life. The basic biological categories of male and female are amongst the most simple and fundamental boundaries of all.”
Suggesting alternatives to this reality leads towards and/or encourages sexually deviant behavior, which is detrimental to a person’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
We must not intrude on childhood by deliberately confusing school children about what makes a boy a boy or a girl a girl just to satisfy adult political agendas. We must protect children from being made to feel that passing phases of confused feelings about themselves — which many go through — must be turned into life-changing moral and political decisions.”
Interestingly, after several media inquiries, the city council withdrew the gender survey. A spokesperson for the Children’s Commissioner for England said Question 13 will not be included in any student survey distributed in the future.
This article was first published on February 14, 2016.