Two Thirds Of Parents Disagree With Tories And Think Schools Should Teach Gender Identity

The government has said it should not be taught at all.
Most parents actually think gender identity should be taught in schools.
Most parents actually think gender identity should be taught in schools.
Mike Kemp via Getty Images

Most parents think schools should teach their children about gender identity, according to a new poll.

Market research company YouGov has found that two-thirds of parents want sex education in schools where pupils are taught that it is possible to be transgender or non-binary.

It comes after the government released draft guidance suggesting students should not have any sex education before Year 5, and that all pupils should be banned from learning about gender identity in schools.

The controversial plan has been widely criticised and compared to the Thatcherite legislation, Section 28, which prohibited schools from “promoting” homosexuality between 1988 and 2003.

YouGov’s poll also found 60% of respondents believe schools should teach pupils at a certain age that people can be non-binary and 61% think children should be taught people can be transgender.

This increases among parents with at least one child younger than 18, with 67% thinking non-binary should be a topic in schools, and 66% thinking transgender identities should be covered.

Among parents of a child younger than 18, 25-26% said these subjects should not be discussed.

There was also a divide between respondents about when these discussions should happen.

According to YouGov, the most popular answer (with 17%) was in Year 7, when students are aged 11-12.

Education secretary Gillian Keegan was unable to explain how widespread the teaching of “inappropriate” material around gender identity is on Thursday when asked about the evidence behind this controversial ban.

She told BBC Breakfast: “Obviously there’s been loads of newspaper reports, we’ve had certain parents saying they couldn’t access materials and we’ve seen campaign group or lobby groups’ materials – some people say they’ve seen them in schools, some people saying ‘we haven’t had them in our school’.”

She also claimed that there was “some evidence from some people” that children were being taught there could be “72 genders” and that gender could “change daily”.

PM Rishi Sunak said he worries about children “being exposed to things which you just though, really, is that the right age for them to be told certain things, discussing certain things”.

He also refused to tell ITV’s Loose Women what he knew about sex at the age of 13, saying he could not “remember” his own sex education.

Amid claims that children have been taught about 72 genders, he said: “I don’t remember that being an issue when I was younger.”

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