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Transgender ideology leaving a ‘corrosive impact’ on society – new book finds optimism in scrapping of gender recognition reforms

Given that the UK government is now set to scrap plans to allow people to change their legal gender by “self-identifying” as a different sex – while also preparing to set out new safeguards to protect female-only spaces (including refuges and public lavatories), a new Civitas book expresses some optimism for those policies through a series of recommendations.

In this report, Joanna Williams argues public institutions have long been captivated by an “ideology of transgenderism” that is unable to defend the sex-based rights of women or to protect children in society.

The author’s recommendations in the report include:

  • Both the UK government and the Scottish Parliament should announce a moratorium on all reform of the Gender Recognition Act for at least the duration of this parliament.
  • The prescribing of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to anyone under the age of 18 should be immediately prohibited.
  • No child should be permitted to ‘socially transition’ at school without the permission of their parents.


A powerful political ideology…

In less than two decades “transgender” has gone from “a term representing individuals” and “little used outside of specialist communities”, to “signifying a powerful political ideology driving significant social change.” At the level of the individual, this shift has occurred through the separation of gender from sex, before reclaiming biology through an innate sense of “gender-identity”.

The author argues that this return to biology allows for the formation of a distinct identity group, one that can stake a claim to being persecuted, and depends upon continual validation and confirmation from an external audience. All free and open discussion is a threat to this public validation and is often effectively curtailed.

Joanna Williams suggests that the move of transgenderism from niche to mainstream “tells us more about the rest of society than it does about transgender individuals.” Williams argues: “People in positions of power within the realms of media, education, academia, police, social work, medicine, law, and local and national government have been prepared to coalesce behind the demands of a tiny transgender community.”

The state of play…

In the past few weeks, the Crown Prosecution Service has been forced to pull its LGBT hate crime guidance issued to schools – which had warned schools could face legal action if they did not allow transgender pupils to use their preferred toilets or changing rooms – after a legal challenge was mounted against it. One council has even had to scrap their own guidance urging schools to allow transgender pupils to choose which lavatories they use. In this report, Joanna Williams reveals how this ideology is continuing to make a significant impact across society:

  • TRANSITIONING: In 2019, the number of 11- and 13-year-olds referred to NHS specialist medical help with transitioning rose by 28 and 30 per cent, respectively, over the previous year.
  • AGE: The youngest patients have been just three years old.
  • ARRESTS: Arrests and prosecutions have been made for ‘deliberately misgendering’ through the use of male pronouns.
  • TOILETS: Transgender pupils have been free to use the toilets and changing rooms that match their gender identity, previously intended only for members of the opposite sex.
  • PRISONS: Reports of the attacks on women in prisons carried out by transgender inmates suggest that the feelings of transgender women are being placed above the safety of females.
  • INTERESTS OF CHILD: “…concerns and questions raised by the parents of children who identify as transgender are either overlooked or, worse, seen to run counter to the best interests of their own child.”
  • PUBERTY BLOCKERS: “…hormone therapies are presented as ‘life saving’ for transgender children struggling to come to terms with their developing bodies yet it seems at best highly simplistic and at worst dangerous to suggest that feeling suicidal is best treated through puberty blockers rather than psychotherapy and anti-depressants.”
  • WOMEN’S REFUGES: “Clearly, transgender people experiencing violent abuse deserve protection. But the demand that they be accommodated in refuges intended specifically for females again suggests that the feelings of biological males be privileged over and above women who are in a vulnerable situation.”
  • WOMEN’S SPORTS: “Beyond protecting the physical safety of women, the inclusion of trans women in women’s sports raises issues of inherent fairness.”
  • ACADEMIC FREEDOM: “In the UK, academics who question the impact gender self-identification has upon women find they are subjected to orchestrated campaigns designed to stop them from speaking on public platforms and to have their publications rejected.”
  • FREE SPEECH: “The demand from transgender activists is twofold: firstly, the freedom to name themselves and the world as they decree, thereby overriding social and linguistic conventions; and secondly, that other people must obey these decrees and use language that the trans-person prescribes.”

The Corrosive Impact of Transgender Ideology

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