C: Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth of Ireland

Poll: Majority disagree with Roderic O’Gorman on teaching transgenderism in primary schools 

A poll for the Sunday Independent shows that most people would oppose plans by Minister Roderic O’Gorman to teach “what it means to be transgender” in primary schools. 

Last week, the Minister told the paper that he “absolutely” wanted primary school children to be subject to programmes which would discuss transgenderism – and he revealed that he had met “with groups representing the trans community” in coming to that conclusion.

But the poll shows that 46% of those who responded disagreed with the Minister – while just 39% agreed and a significantly large 15% said they were unsure.

Interestingly, the numbers show a further shift against such school programmes when compared to a poll undertaken in 2021.

A poll carried out by women’s group, The Countess, in that year showed that parents were more likely than other adults to oppose schools teaching children about transgender issues – with almost 60% of parents being opposed or unsure about telling children that there are many genders. The percentage of adults in general now opposing such programmes appears to be increasing.

The push to teach children about being transgender has proved highly controversial because activists have shaped programmes and advice for schools which would teach young children that gender is a spectrum,

As reported on Gript, Ireland’s official national curriculum body has encouraged teachers to refrain from using the phrase “boys and girls” and to use more ‘gender-neutral alternatives’.

The NCCA also linked teachers to resources to study “crossdressing” for “erotic enjoyment,” “drag,” “gender queer” and “gender-fluid” identities as part of an “SPHE and RSE toolkit” for primary schools.

The rush to assume that “gender-affirming care” is always best for children has led to some schools in the UK and elsewhere instructing teachers not to tell parents that their child had requested to change pronouns if that was what the child had requested.

In Britain, the controversy around how children were being treated at the Tavistock clinic, and mounting concern that children who felt they were transgender were being rushed into treatment, the NHS has now warned doctors that these feelings often disappear for children as they get older, and that children should not be encouraged to change their names and pronouns.

For many parents and women’s rights campaigners, the bid to use schools to persuade young children that biological sex isn’t real amounts to “indoctrination”.

They point to the growing numbers of young people who now say they were rushed into sex-change treatments and operations which are often irreversible. Experts have also said that up to 90% of those using gender changing services may be autistic.

Sunday Independent commentator Éilis Ó Hanlon said that the Minister “hasn’t bothered to ask parents whether they agree with him, nor listened to groups who believe the current trend of encouraging children to question their gender identity is dangerous, given how little is known about introducing very young children to concepts they have no way of properly comprehending.”

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