The danger that radical gender ideology poses to children, as well as BBC bias, were the themes of this year’s Family Education Trust conference in July.
Dr Sharon James (Christian Institute) outlined how the transgender lobby takes advantage of the impressionable nature of children to teach them a series of lies: that gender is a spectrum, that ‘male’ and ‘female’ are social constructs, and that gender identity is separate from biological sex.
Groups like Mermaids teach children that gender is determined by feelings rather than biology. A boy who likes pretty things may be told that he is really a girl in the wrong body. This can result in children who do not conform to strict gender stereotypes being encouraged to ‘socially transition’ – adopting a new name, pronouns, and clothes and using toilets and changing rooms of the opposite sex. Moreover, social transition almost guarantees subsequent use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.
Dr James stated that gender ideology cheats our children by robbing them of the fundamental physical reality of their biological sex. It can drive a wedge between children and their parents, and deprives them of personal and relational safety by denying them the right to privacy by the invasion of single-sex spaces.
Former BBC journalist Robin Aitken spoke on how those who defend marriage and family might get a hearing from a hostile media. Drawing on 25 years’ experience working for the BBC, Mr Aitken revealed how since the 1960s Britain’s national broadcaster has acted as a ‘battering ram’ for socially-liberal values.
BBC bias can be seen in its coverage of issues such as abortion and the family. Countries without abortion on demand are constantly portrayed as backward and reactionary. Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion law was portrayed as obviously wrong and the UK government right for imposing a liberal abortion law on the province.
In coverage of young people’s mental health, the role of family breakdown is usually ignored by the BBC, though it is widely believed by health professionals to be a leading cause of children’s unhappiness.
Mr Aitken was optimistic, however, about the development of the new GB News channel as an alternative to the BBC. He noted how Fox News had changed the media narrative in the United States and hoped the same might happen in the UK. He encouraged those who defend traditional marriage and family to take advantage of this new opportunity to make their voices heard.