The BBC has produced an education film for schools that claims there are ‘more than 100 gender identities’.
It has been sharply criticised as nonsense and accused of confusing primary school children as young as nine.
BBC Teach released the series of nine films to support the physical, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum in schools.
Short clips are shown in classrooms to pupils aged between nine and twelve and are used to explore controversial topics such as sex and body image.
In one video, called Identity – Understanding Sexual and Gender Identities, a young boy asks: ‘What are the different gender identities?’
The teacher on screen, Kate Daniels, then says: ‘We know that we have got male and female but there are over 100, if not more, gender identities now’.
Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of Transgender Trend, which represents parents concerned about an increase in diagnosis of kids as transgender, told the Sunday Times, ‘This is made-up nonsense.
‘People are free to identify as anything they like, but this does not change the reality that there are only two sexes.
‘To suggest that being male or female is just a personal identity is false and will inevitably confuse children into believing that their biological sex is a choice’.
The BBC video is accompanied by suggestions for other lesson activities. It suggests the children write dramas and create displays which explore sexuality and gender.
A spokeswoman for the BBC said: ‘The Big Talk series was contributed to by more than 50 independent experts and professionals and is intended to be used by teachers, within the safe space of the classroom, to prompt further conversation with their pupils on the topics raised’.