A new educational video for children aged 9 to 12 is generating controversy given its content, which claims that there are more than 100 genders and also teaches children that being transgender is a way to be “happy.”
The BBC film titled “Identity: understanding sexual and gender identities” is offered on the BBC’s website as part of the “sex and relationships education package,” which is publicly funded.
According to the Daily Mail, most schoolchildren are now forced to conduct their studies online due to the quarantines imposed, preventing access to classrooms for all but a small number of employees.
The film shows confused young children asking adults about sexuality and gender, while they are told that gender identities include bi-gender, gender-queer, and pansexual.
One section shows the moment when a student asks how many identities there are, and his teacher Kate, a designated RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) teacher replies that there are many gender identities, highlighting that there are now more than 100.
The film’s release came ahead of guidance issued by the UK government last year advising schools to be careful about teaching about sexual issues to children.
“Resources used in teaching about this topic must always be age-appropriate and evidence-based,” it said, while teachers must “not reinforce harmful stereotypes, for instance by suggesting that children might be a different gender based on their personality.”
The BBC justified the purposes of the production by arguing that more than 50 teachers had participated in the consultation for the series and indicated that the BBC Teach website was formally established, adding that due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, teachers were advised to review the content before viewing it with their students.
Regarding the issue, UK Conservative Party MP Jackie Doyle-Price said, “Telling children there are more than 100 genders is nonsense, and potentially harmful as it risks normalizing something which is extremely rare.”
At no point does the video address the current concern about the increase in the number of children who say they want to change their gender.
Nor does it take into account the controversial medical interventions that some transgender children undergo, such as unproven hormone-blocking drugs whose use has been effectively banned by a recent High Court ruling, according to the Daily Mail.
The BBC reported that the National Health Service Tavistock center, which provides children with services on gender issues, was last week branded “inadequate” by a watchdog after staff were found to be failing to keep basic records of children receiving basic hormone treatments.
Regarding the film promoted by the BBC, radio commentator Darren Grimes, stated on his Twitter account, “If this is the BBC’s ideas of ‘education’, then frankly, I’d rather they didn’t bother.”