A survey in Brighton that asked children to state whether they were tri-gender has been sternly criticised by the Christian Institute.
The government-sponsored Children’s Commissioner for England created the survey, in which teenagers were given 25 options to choose from, including ‘tri-gender’, ‘genderqueer’, ‘gender fluid’ and ‘demi-boy’. The children could choose as many as they wanted to describe their basic identity.
However, the Christian Institute has responded by saying that giving equal weight to the new terms and traditional language was ‘totally misleading’. Even reports in national media, such as the Daily Mail, described the questions as ‘bizarre’, adding that the survey could prompt ‘uncertainty and distress in the minds of all-too-vulnerable adolescents’.
Following newspaper enquiries, the survey was withdrawn. A spokesman at the Children’s Commissioner’s office said that future versions of the survey will not include the controversial question.
Simon Calvert, deputy director of the Christian Institute, said that, rather than there being more than 20 genders, there are simply two sexes. ‘For some children, it will be profoundly confusing to find out that there are adults who don’t seem to know that boys are boys and girls are girls.
‘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.
‘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’.