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Ethics – Women at risk

September 2017

A consultation on the Gender Recognition Act will be published in the autumn. Earlier this year, government leaders, such as Prime Minister Theresa May, and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn both spoke out in favour of allowing people to self-identify.

However, Simon Calvert, deputy director of public affairs at the Christian Institute, warned that women, in particular, could be put at risk by allowing greater freedom to self-identify as transgender.

He explained: ‘Allowing men to self-identify as female without any medical diagnosis allows them to invade the privacy of women and girls. Where this policy has been tried in the US, women and young girls have experienced the fear and humiliation of finding themselves sharing toilet and changing facilities with men. Transgender people aren’t the only people with rights. Women have rights too’.

According to the Christian Institute, parents group, Transgender Trend also spoke out against the proposals, stating: ‘If any man can identify as a woman with no tests and gain access to spaces where women might be getting undressed or feel vulnerable, such as women’s hospital wards, refuges and rape crisis centres, women will just stop going to these facilities’.

So far, fewer than 5,000 new birth certificates have been issued to people identifying as transgender since the legislation came into force in 2004.