events archive

Policy over a Pint: Transgender children

A joint event by the Social Policy Forum and the Parents' Forum.

7:00pm, Thursday 25 February 2016, The Sun (not The Sun Tavern), 21 Drury Lane, WC2B 5RH

The issue of transgenderism in childhood is increasingly prominent in policy and parenting discussions. A school in Brighton has changed its uniform policy to accommodate transgender pupils. Earlier this year, a Parliamentary Committee recommended that the age of consent for operations to alter gender should be lowered from 18 to 16 years of age. The number of children referred to clinics for gender reassignment is also on the increase. Indeed such is the new-found orthodoxy around parenting transgender children that Jeremy Clarkson’s characteristically robustly sceptical opinion-piece for The Sunday Times on the subject prompted outrage. Campaigner Paris Lees declared “saying anything that might encourage parents of transgender children not to support those children fully is evil”.

Why is this happening now and what will the consequences be? How does the discussion differ from discussions in the past? How does it resonate with parents, and with kids themselves? What should we make of such sympathetic official support for and coverage of transgenderism in children? Is it something to welcome or worry about?

BACKGROUND

Don’t let the doctor do this to your newborn, Slate, 26 June 2014

Growing Up Trans, Frontline, 30 June 2015

Mom: How I Reacted When My Son Started Wearing Skirts at 4 Years Old, Yahoo! Parenting, 4 August 2015

SPEAKER(S)

Nancy McDermott
independent researcher with a special interest in the family, parenting, science and the public-private spheres. Nancy writes frequently on women and the family for spiked. She is a non-academic affiliate of the CPCS and a former head and an advisor to Park Slope Parents.