Speak Up For Women is often asked to provide proof that self-ID will result in harm.
We believe this frames the issue the wrong way around. Sex-segregation has long existed as a principle in human rights law, for reasons of privacy, safety and dignity. We believe the onus must be on those seeking to change or abolish[efn_note]Stonewall in the UK has actively campaigned for the abolition of sex-based exemptions under the UK human rights legislation.[/efn_note] these principles to prove that doing so will not result in harm.
We also reject attempts to narrow the focus of the discussion to crime rates. Single-sex spaces do not just exist to protect women from (reported) assault. They exist to protect privacy, dignity and safety in a broader sense.
That said, we set out below some specific reasons for safeguarding concerns about self-ID.
We emphasise that we do not suggest that trans women, as a group, pose any greater risk to women and girls than other males do. Of course most trans women, like most men, are not offenders. Our concern is not with transgender people per se. It is with the reality and prevalence of male violence against women, and the vulnerability of women and children to that violence. It is with women’s need for privacy and dignity in relation to male-bodied people.
1)Evidence that trans-identifying natal males retain male pattern violence
Violence and sexual violence are overwhelmingly committed by males. Males make up 92.3% of the prison population.[efn_note]https://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/research_and_statistics/quarterly_prison_statistics/prison_stats_march_2018.html[/efn_note] In relation to sexual violence:
- Around 94-98% of child sexual abuse is committed by males[efn_note]https://nzfvc.org.nz/sites/nzfvc.org.nz/files/DS6-Sexual-violence-by-gender-of-perpetrator-2017.pdf (variety of sources: Christchurch Health and Development Study; NZ Police statistics; Child Youth and Family data)
- Around 98-99% of sexual offending against adults is committed by males[efn_note]https://nzfvc.org.nz/sites/nzfvc.org.nz/files/DS6-Sexual-violence-by-gender-of-perpetrator-2017.pdf (Police statistics)[/efn_note];
Females make up the majority of victims:
- Women make up around 95% of victims of sexual offending against adults that results in apprehension by Police[efn_note]https://nzfvc.org.nz/sites/nzfvc.org.nz/files/DS6-Sexual-violence-by-gender-of-perpetrator-2017.pdf (Police statistics)[/efn_note];
- 24% of adult NZ women have experienced one or more incidents of sexual violence; compared to 6% of men.[efn_note]https://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector-policy/research-data/nzcass/survey-results/results-by-subject/sexual-violence/#prevalence (NZ Crime and Safety Survey)[/efn_note]
There is no evidence that identifying as a woman reduces the risk of male violence.
There is no evidence that even undergoing sex reassignment surgery reduces the risk. The available evidence is to the contrary. A long term (1973-2003) follow up study of transsexual persons undergoing sex reassignment surgery in Sweden, published in 2011, found[efn_note]Dhejne et al Long-term follow up of transsexual persons undergoing sex reassignment surgery: cohort study in Sweden (2011) https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016885 . The study goes on to note that female-to-male transsexuals also had higher crime rates than female controls but did not differ from male controls.[/efn_note]:
“[R]egarding any crime, male-to-females had a significantly increased risk for crime compared to female controls (aHR6.6; 95% CI4.1-10.8[efn_note]aHR is the abbreviation for “adjusted hazard rate” (how many times something is more likely in one group compared to another). A hazard rate of 1 means no more or less likely, a hazard rate of 5 means five times more likely, a hazard rate of -5 means five times less likely, etc. The hazard rates were “adjusted” in this study to control for the fact that transgender people have more mental health issues (other than gender dysphoria) than the general population. [/efn_note]) but not compared to males (aHR 0.8; 95% CI 0.5-1.2). This indicates that they retained a male pattern regarding criminality. The same was true for violent crime.”
Further, under the heading “Principal findings and comparison with previous research”:
“ Criminal activity, particularly violent crime, is much more common among men than women in the general population….Crime after sex reassignment, however, has not previously been studied. In this study, male-to-female individuals had a higher risk for criminal convictions compared to female controls but not to male controls. This suggests that the sex reassignment procedure neither increased nor decreased the rate of criminal offending in male-to-females.”
The study found transwomen were 6 times more likely to commit any crime, and 18 times more likely to commit a violent crime, than female controls.[efn_note]https://fairplayforwomen.com/criminality/ (Dr Nicola Williams). In a subsequent media interview with trans rights publication The Transadvocate, one of the six authors of the study, Cecilia Dhejne, clarified that the study looked at overall rates of conviction, not (specific) conviction type, e.g. rape. More controversially, she is also reported as saying that when the cohort is divided into two groups (1973-1988) and (1989-2003), the authors did not find male pattern criminality in the latter group. See: :http://www.transadvocate.com/fact-check-study-shows-transition-makes-trans-people-suicidal_n_15483.htm. This qualification does not appear in the “Principal findings” of the study itself (in contrast, in relation to the issue of overall mortality – which the study also examines – the authors do draw a distinction between the early (1973-89) and late (1989-2003) groups. Critics of Ms Dhejne’s media interview have pointed out that the study does not in fact break down the early (1973-89) and late (1989-2003) groups into trans-women and trans-men, but combines them. It does not make sense to compare a combined “trans” group (males and females), with a control of males: see https://fairplayforwomen.com/criminality/
While the results and interpretation of this study (like all studies in this fraught area) have been hotly contested, we are unaware of any comparable study that suggests that male-pattern violence is not retained. As safety is a key rationale for sex-segregated spaces, we believe the onus should be on those seeking to allow male access into those spaces to demonstrate there is no additional risk.
2) Most transwomen retain male genitalia
It is emphasised that the Dhejne study (above) focused on transgender people who had undergone sexual reassignment surgery.
Contrary to public perception, this reflects a minority of trans women. The vast majority of male-born transgender people retain their male genitalia.[efn_note]https://fairplayforwomen.com/penis/ (citing GIRES research estimates that only 20% of the UK transgender population is likely to seek medical treatment). For US figures see http://www.ustranssurvey.org/ Tables 7.5 and Figure 7.14 (at p102): 12% of transwomen have had genital surgery, 54% want it “some day” 22% are unsure, and 12% do not want it. [/efn_note] A significant number do not wish to undergo any kind of medical treatment at all.[efn_note]Idem[/efn_note] It should not be surprising that biologically male persons, socialised as male are, as a group, likely to retain male-pattern violence.
3) Risks highlighted by UK professional associations
In a submission to the 2016 enquiry into the Gender Recognition Act, the President of the British Association of Gender Identity Specialists (i.e. a professional body that could scarcely be accused of an anti-trans bias) referred to:[efn_note]http://data.parliament.uk/WrittenEvidence/CommitteeEvidence.svc/EvidenceDocument/Women%20and%20Equalities/Transgender%20Equality/written/19532.html[/efn_note]
“[T]he ever increasing tide of referrals [to gender identity specialists] of patients in prison serving long or indeterminate sentences for serious sexual offences. These vastly outnumber the prisoners incarcerated for more ordinary, non-sexual offences. It has been rather naively suggested that nobody would pretend transsexual status in prison if this were not actually the case. There are, to those of us who actually interview the prisoners, in fact many reasons why people might pretend this. These vary from the opportunity to have trips out of prison through to the desire for a transfer to the female estate (to the same prison as a co-defendant) through to the idea that a parole board will perceive somebody who is female as being less dangerous through to a (false) belief that hormone treatment will actually render one less dangerous through to wanting a special or protected status within the prison system and even (in one very well evidenced case that a highly concerned Prison Governor brought particularly to my attention) a plethora of prison intelligence information that the driving force was a desire to make subsequent sexual offending very much easier, females generally being perceived as low risk in this regard.”
The British Psychological Society’s submission echoed these concerns[efn_note]http://data.parliament.uk/WrittenEvidence/CommitteeEvidence.svc/EvidenceDocument/Women%20and%20Equalities/Transgender%20Equality/written/19471.html[/efn_note]:
“Psychologists working with forensic patients are aware of a number of cases where men convicted of sex crimes have falsely claimed to be transgender females for a number of reasons: a) as a means of demonstrating reduced risk and so gaining parole; b) as a means of explaining their sex offending aside from sexual gratification (e.g. wanting to ‘examine’ young females); c) or as a means of separating their sec offending self (male) from their future self (female); d) in rare cases it has been thought that the person is seeking better access to females and young children through presenting in an apparently female way. Such strategies in no way affect risk and indeed may increase it. Some people falsely believe that taking oestrogen and blocking androgen in males will reduce risk of offending, however this is not necessarily the case. Consequently the Society recommends the Government give appropriate assistance to transgender people within the criminal justice system; while being extremely cautious of setting law and policy such that some of the most dangerous people in society have greater latitude to offend.”
4) Disproportionately high numbers of transwomen in prison are sex offenders (UK data)
In 2017 the UK women’s group Fair Play for Women compiled data suggesting that disproportionately high numbers of transgender prisoners (41%) are convicted sex offenders. These statistics were ridiculed in the media by trans-activists[efn_note]https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/41-per-cent-trans-transgender-trans-women-prisoners-sex-offenders-false-study-statistic-this-is-why-a8072431.html[/efn_note], but have recently (13 August 2018) been confirmed by the Ministry of Justice. Of 125 transgendered inmates, 60 (48%) are serving sentences for sexual offences. (This compares with 19% of all prisoners serving sentences for sexual offences). Of those 60, 27 were convicted of the most serious sexual offence of rape.[efn_note]https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42221629 (the Ministry noted some limitations with the data). The full breakdown of the 60 inmates: 27 serving time for rape; 13 for child pornography offences, 13 for sexual assault or attempt, 9 for causing or inciting a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, 7 for sexual activity with a child, and 7 for indecent assault or gross indecency (these add up to more than 60 because some were convicted of more than one type of offence). See James Kirkup’s criticisms of the BBC’s reporting of these figures here: https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/08/is-the-bbc-scared-of-the-transgender-debate/[/efn_note]
A 2009 Californian study also reported that male-born transgender inmates were “more frequently classified as sex offenders” compared with the general population of male prisoners.[efn_note]http://ucicorrections.seweb.uci.edu/files/2013/06/A-Demographic-Assessment-of-Transgender-Inmates-in-Mens-Prisons.pdf at p12[/efn_note]
New Zealand prison statistics on this question are not available, but there are some high profile examples: Rory Francis (now Laken McKay[efn_note]https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11909971[/efn_note]); Alex Seu[efn_note]https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/court-news/transgender-man-jailed-sex-attack[/efn_note]; and Malcolm Platt (now Morgana Platt[efn_note]https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/102887756/rapist-back-in-prison-for-plotting-to-train-girl-as-a-prostitute[/efn_note]).
Jeremy Coid, Emeritus Professor of forensic psychiatry at Queen Mary University of London, had this to say on the subject of housing male-bodied trans women prisoners in women’s prisons:[efn_note]Letter to The Times, 23 September 2018.[/efn_note]
“The practice ignores the psychopathology of disturbed and sometimes dangerous individuals. Uncertain sexual identity is a key risk factor in a man with a history of sexual assaults…Legal aid has funded a series of cases that assert rights to new identity and the victimhood of the offender over criminal responsibility for their acts. This provides a golden opportunity for further sexual offending.”
5) With self-ID there is no ability to distinguish trans women from men
Under self-ID, males who identify as women will for all practical purposes be indistinguishable from the general population of males. Alex Drummond, a prominent UK trans woman, wears a full beard and has elected not to undergo surgery or take hormones. Yet he identifies as female and as a lesbian.[efn_note]https://www.buzzfeed.com/patrickstrudwick/this-transgender-woman-has-a-full-beard-and-she-couldnt-be-h[/efn_note]
This has obvious consequences in terms of the ability to challenge any male’s presence in a female changing room or toilet.
A recent (2 September 2018) investigation carried out by UK newspaper the Sunday Times showed that almost 90% of reported sexual assault, harassment and voyeurism in swimming pool and sports centre changing rooms happen in unisex facilities. This is despite the fact that unisex facilities make up less than half the total[efn_note]https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/unisex-changing-rooms-put-women-in-danger-8lwbp8kgk[/efn_note].
We believe an honest discussion of these issues must consider the role of autogynephilia in gender identity development in some natal males.
Not all male-to-female transgender people fit the so-called “classic” stereotype (feminine from childhood, attracted to males). Since the 1920s, clinical literature has identified a particular category of male transsexual, referred to as “nonhomosexual autogynephilic.”[efn_note]The terminology originates in the work of sexologist Ray Blanchard, who divided male-to-female transsexuals into two categories: 1) the homosexual type; and 2) the non-homosexual autogynephilic type. The first is typically early-onset (childhood) and involves effeminate boys who have a ‘homosexual’ orientation (i.e. attracted to males). The second is typically later onset and involves males who are predominately heterosexual in orientation (attracted to females). [/efn_note] Autogynephilia is commonly understood as a kind of paraphilia, or “abnormal” sexual desire.[efn_note]Anne A Lawrence. Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism (2013) Springer at p9. Autogynephilia is not specifically listed as a paraphilia in the DSM-5, but “transvestic fetishism”(cross-dressing) is.[/efn_note] Autogynephiles derive sexual arousal from the idea of being a woman: of dressing as a woman (transvestic); and/or having a woman’s body (anatomic); engaging in typically female behaviour (behavioural); or having female bodily functions (physiological).[efn_note]Anne A Lawrence Men Trapped in Men’s Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism (2013) Springer at p95. The analysis is controversial within the transgender community, to the extent that transactivists have pursued aggressive campaigns against clinicians researching and writing in this area (see Dreger The Controversy Surrounding the Man Who Would Be Queen (2008) June 37(3) Archives of Sexual Behaviour at 366-421 (online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170124/ ); Alice Dreger, Galileo’s Little Finger (2015) for an account of the backlash against Michael Bailey’s book The Man Who Would Be Queen. See also Anne E Lawrence “Shame and Narcissistic Rage in Autogynephilic Transsexualism” (2008) 37 Archives of Sexual Behaviour 457-461 (online at: http://www.annelawrence.com/shame_&_narcissistic_rage.pdf ). However while there may be arguments about whether the typology “fits” the experience of all transwomen (see e.g. a survey involving a convenience sample of internet respondents in Veale et al https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254366024_Male-to-Female_Transsexuals%27_Impressions_of_Blanchard%27s_Autogynephilia_Theory) it is clear that autogynephilia describes the experience of a significant proportion of non-homosexual transwomen.[/efn_note] By some estimates, autogynephilia accounts for approximately one half to two thirds of male-to-female transsexuals.[efn_note][Anne Lawrence “Men Trapped In Men’s Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism” (2013) Springer at p29. This estimate is controversial, for the reasons discussed by the author. efn_note]
Autogynephilic males are often described as “typical” males in every respect other than their paraphilic sexuality[efn_note]Anne Lawrence “Men Trapped In Men’s Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism” (2013) Springer at p203-209[/efn_note]. They may have conventional childhoods, are typically heterosexual, and often marry and father children before transitioning in middle age. This is clearly relevant to the point above about male-pattern violence.
Paraphilias are an overwhelmingly male phenomenon.[efn_note]Baur et al Paraphilic sexual interests and sexually coercive behaviour: a population-based twin study Arch Sex Behav (2016) 45: 1163-1172 at 1166 (lifetime prevalence of the studied paraphilic behaviours was four times higher in men. The most common paraphilic behaviour for women was masochism (for men it was voyeurism)[/efn_note]. It is well-recognised that paraphilic sexual interests tend to co-occur, or cluster together[efn_note]Anne Lawrence “Men Trapped In Men’s Bodies: Narratives of Autogynephilic Transsexualism” (2013) Springer at p20, citing Abel and Osborn (1992) and Gosselin and Wilson (1980)[/efn_note]. Other paraphilias include, for example, voyeurism, frotteurism and exhibitionism.
Paraphilias are associated with[efn_note]an association does not imply a causal association[/efn_note] serious criminal violence, particularly sexual violence. The authors of a 2016 US study of 225 federal sex offenders record:[efn_note]Drury et al, Adverse childhood experiences, paraphilias and serious criminal violence among federal sex offenders (2017) Journal of Criminal Psychology vol 7 issue 2 at p107 https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/JCP-11-2016-0039[/efn_note]
“Irrespective of [adverse childhood experiences], paraphilias have been shown to be significantly associated with serious criminal violence (Abel et al., 1987, 1988). In a study of 5,990 adult twins from a Finland population cohort, Baur et al. (2016) reported that any paraphilic behavior was associated with a 3.25 increased odds ratio of sexually coercive behavior. Odds ratios for specific paraphilias including sadism (OR=4.36), masochism (OR=3.18), voyeurism (OR=3.17), exhibitionism (OR=3.15), and transvestic fetishism (OR=2.09) were also significantly linked to sexually coercive behavior.”
There is also considerable support for paraphilic interests predicting sexual recidivism (reoffending) among sex offenders[efn_note]Defined by the authors as ‘heterosexual males who experience sexual arousal by the thought of self as female, or engaging in cross-dressing (autogynephilia))’[/efn_note].
The 2016 Baur et al twin study[efn_note]Above[/efn_note] attempted to address the possible causal nature of the association noted in the above-quoted passage, by controlling for genetic and family-related factors. The study focused on five paraphilic behaviours: exhibitionism, masochism, sadism, transvestic fetishism, and voyeurism. The authors found that transvestic fetishism was not independently associated with sexual coercion. While this is good news, it is not the full story. The study also found substantial co-occurrence between transvestic fetishism and the remaining four paraphilic behaviours (consistent with the “clustering” effect referred to above). And the other four paraphilic behaviours were moderately to strongly associated with sexual coercion.
So what were the rates of co-occurrence? Of those who reported transvestic fetishism at any time in their lives, 12.4% also reported exhibitionism; 24.8% masochism; 11.5% sadism; and 39.8% voyeurism[efn_note]Table 2 at p1160[/efn_note].
Even if you put the association between voyeurism and sexual coercion to one side, the high co-occurrence between transvestic fetishism and voyeurism is of concern in the context of access to women’s private spaces.
7) Family violence and refuges
We draw attention to a recent report prepared by UK organisation Fair Play for Women, which collates the results of interviews with a number of professionals working in the family violence sector, as well as with a number of survivors of family violence[efn_note]Fair Play for Women Supporting Women in Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (September 2018) https://fairplayforwomen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/FPFW_report_19SEPT2018.pdf [/efn_note].
The report notes that refuges and other safe spaces for abused women are coming under intense pressure from trans-rights groups to be trans inclusive and to adopt self-ID policies. Many service providers are afraid of speaking out, for fear of compromising their funding, and because of a climate of intimidation and harassment. Underfunded organisations are also fearful of being embroiled in expensive legal challenges if they insist on female only services.
The interviewees express the view that single-sex spaces are vital to protect the physical and emotional safety of victims of violence[efn_note]At p20[/efn_note].
They note that assessments carried out on those seeking admission to refuges are limited by circumstance. Many have to be carried out over the phone, or in the middle of the night, and they rely on the honesty of the responses. Having a blanket exclusion of males is a basic safeguarding practice. As one professional put it[efn_note]At p20[/efn_note]:
“In this situation [of self-ID] a male could arrive on the doorstep of a house staffed by one female worker at three in the morning, with abused women and children in bed, and with hardly any assessment of any kind.”
Male perpetrators of family violence will go to any lengths to track down and gain access to their victims, often planning attacks over months or even years, and using the legal system to control and abuse. Professionals warn “beyond a shadow of a doubt” that self-ID policies will result in women in refuges being murdered.[efn_note]At p21[/efn_note]
Professionals and survivors also emphasise the importance of single-sex spaces in helping traumatised women and children recover and feel safe. Many suffer post-traumatic stress, and feel terror and anxiety around male strangers. One survivor states:[efn_note]At p17[/efn_note]
“My need for female-only spaces is hardwired into me as a result of the abuse I suffered. Pretending that traumatised women can’t tell the difference between male- and female- bodied people is gaslighting. Asking us to deny the effects of our trauma, to override all those dreadful feelings destroying us from the inside out, in order to be kind and inclusive, is simply wrong.”
The report also notes that self-ID policies will have a particularly negative impact on Muslim women, given religious edicts around women being in a state of undress in front of males.[efn_note]At p15. Orthodox Judaism has similar proscriptions[/efn_note]
8) Concealment of past/criminal history and exercising control over victims
As Professor Coid observes (above), the ability to change “gender” identity, thereby obscuring one’s past (while simultaneously conferring ‘victimhood’ status, as well as maintaining a form of power over victims) presents a golden opportunity for many criminals. Trans-activists promote the idea that “dead-naming” (referring to a transgender person by their natal name, e.g. Bruce rather than Caitlin Jenner) is an act of “violence” and discrimination. Twitter has recently changed its terms of service to ban “dead-naming” and “misgendering” of transgender persons.[efn_note]https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2018/11/social-media-divided-on-twitter-s-ban-of-misgendering-and-deadnaming.html[/efn_note] In effect, this creates a powerful, unprecedented privacy right that trumps the public interest: the implications for accurate reporting, discussion and historical record are obvious.
Some current examples:
- Ian Huntley, the UK school caretaker convicted of the sexual murders of two schoolgirls in 2002, now wishes to be known as “Lian” or “Nicola” (the latter is the name of the mother of one of his victims).[efn_note] https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/female-prison-officers-refuse-strip-7667184 https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/transgender-prisoner-branded-one-scotlands-11837767[/efn_note] It is now a breach of Twitter rules to refer to Ian Huntley as Ian Huntley, or as male.
- In England, a trans-woman has launched a court case seeking to have crimes deleted from her criminal record, on the basis that the crimes disclose her male birth sex and therefore represent “discriminatory interference” with her “right to a private life.”[efn_note]https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/trans-offender-seeks-to-wipe-crimes-as-aman-from-record-qfk5w68lb[/efn_note]
- Twitter has recently banned respected Canadian feminist commentator Meghan Murphy, for “misgendering” a pre-operative trans-woman (known as “JY”), who is suing multiple beauty service providers for refusing to wax his male genitalia. This is despite the fact that JY uses his male identity online. It has emerged that JY has a history of sexually predatory online behaviour vis a vis young girls.[efn_note]In particular, it has been reported that JY takes “selfies” in female toilets, and has posted about his desire to “bond” in changing rooms with 10 year old girls who are naked from the waist down, by assisting them with inserting tampons (see autogynephilia: physiologic sub-type, above). [/efn_note]
- A serial violent offender in a UK prison, Andrew Burns, now identifies as Tiffany Scott, although he has not sought medical transition. It has been reported he insists that all intimate searches are carried out by female prison wardens.[efn_note][/efn_note] (He has previously required prison staff to refer to him as “Mighty Almighty” after changing his name).
9) Accurate reporting of crime and risk
In the UK, offending committed by males identifying as women is regularly reported in the media as female crime. This includes even rape, which in law can committed only with a penis.[efn_note]https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4305270/RACHEL-JOHNSON-woman-trial-rape-Really-No.html[/efn_note]
Police in the UK have confirmed they record a transgender offender’s sex in accordance with their “gender recognition certificate.”[efn_note]https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6324851/Transgender-paedophile-treated-woman-crimes-committed-man.html There are current proposals to introduce “self-ID” for gender recognition certificates[/efn_note].
A June 2018 article (“Tube Horror as Group of Women Stamp on Man in Violent Attack”[efn_note]https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/crime-caught-camera/tube-horror-women-man-attack-leicester-square/[/efn_note]) generated public discussion about the growing problem of female violence. Several months later it emerged at a court hearing that three of the four offenders are trans-women.[efn_note]https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7695635/transgender-women-assaulted-man/[/efn_note]
Reporting of dangerous offenders who are “at large” and present a risk to the community is now presented in a confusing manner. For example, trans-woman sex offender Lisa Hauxwell was reported as a “missing woman who may be dressed as a man,” and as a “missing Leeds woman…who has also used a male identity”[efn_note]Derby Telegraph (original link no longer available) but generally see: http://transcrimeuk.com/2018/12/07/lee-baker-tiffany-aching/[/efn_note].
10) Erosion of existing safeguarding practices
Child abuse scandals (Larry Nassar, Jimmy Savile, the Catholic Church) impart valuable lessons about the ability of abusive men to “groom” institutions in order to facilitate their abuse.
There are a number of “red flags” raised by some of the reforms the transgender movement champions. These include:
- Policies and practices that are designed to keep information from parents;[efn_note]The InsideOUT guidelines for New Zealand schools provide that teachers should not inform parents if a child identifies as transgender. Trans advocacy groups (including TraNZgear in NZ) will supply free breast binders to minors, in plain packaging.[/efn_note]
- A bullying culture that encourages the view that all criticism, or expressions of discomfort with trans women’s inclusion in female spaces, is “bigotry” and “transphobic;”
- Involvement of interest groups with no expertise in child welfare or safeguarding; and
- Evidence that some prominent advocates of self-ID have an ulterior agenda.[efn_note]See below at footnote 57[/efn_note]
Girlguiding UK provides an illustration. It has been a single-sex organisation since 1910 but, in 2017, the Guides published a new “equality and diversity” policy, under which teenaged boys self-identifying as girls are permitted to join the Guides, and adult males self-identifying as females are permitted to become Guide leaders.
Twelve Guide leaders publicly raised safeguarding concerns about this new policy and several, including Helen Watts, were expelled from the organisation as a result.[efn_note]https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/girl-guide-leaders-expelled-for-questioning-trans-policy-550x7m55r[/efn_note]
Critics like Ms Watts point to the fact that Guides share toilet, shower and sleeping accommodations on trips. The policy says that parents should not be informed if their daughter’s leader, or a fellow Guide, is transgender. The policy is also likely to impact girls from some religious faiths (e.g. Islam, Jewish) for whom it is forbidden to share intimate spaces with males in such a context. Ms Watts says the policy emphasises the needs of transgender persons over the needs and views of the girls. Girls may be inhibited from voicing their discomfort as a result of fears of being labelled transphobic.[efn_note]https://fairplayforwomen.com/guide-leaders-call-for-halt/[/efn_note]
In developing their policy, the Guides evidently obtained advice from LGBT advocacy groups Stonewall and Gendered Intelligence: groups not known for their expertise in child safeguarding. Indeed, prominent trans activist Jane Fae (nee John Ozimek) has said she was involved in the advisory process.[efn_note]Ms Fae is reported to have made this claim at the #werestillhere transgender conference in 2018[/efn_note] Ms Fae is also a well-known advocate for “extreme pornography.”[efn_note]https://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/24/extreme_pron_law_live/; https://www.backlash.org.uk/backlash-quoted-in-politics-co-uk/[/efn_note] GirlGuides will not confirm whether Aimee Challenor (who remains on Stonewall’s advisory board) was also involved in the advice[efn_note]Trans woman Aimee Challenor was, until recently, a candidate for deputy leadership of the UK Green Party. She and her father, David Challenor (whom she appointed as her electoral agent) campaigned for self-ID. David Challenor was also involved in children’s gymnastics and the Scout movement. In August 2018 he was sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment for the sexual abuse and torture of a 10 year old girl, which took place in the attic of the Challenor family home. Mr Challenor dressed as a female toddler wearing nappies while committing the offences. See https://www.byline.com/column/85/article/2300 [/efn_note].
As Economist journalist Helen Joyce has observed[efn_note]https://quillette.com/2018/12/04/the-new-patriarchy-how-trans-radicalism-hurts-women-children-and-trans-people-themselves/[/efn_note]:
“Some hear ominous echoes of another time when well-meaning adults in thrall to an ideology put children in harm’s way. The post-1968 sexual liberation movement on continental Europe sought to overturn sexual taboos, and some thought that meant starting young…Many leftwing groupings tolerated organisations such as Britain’s Paedophile Information Exchange…The paedophiles made most headway in Germany’s Green Party, which for several years operated as their de facto parliamentary front.”
Again, of course this is not to say that transgender people are sexual predators. But it would be naïve not to assume that abusers will seek to take advantage of any practices that weaken safeguarding. It is worth emphasising that some of the most outspoken critics of self-ID, and the safeguarding risks at issue, are transgender people[efn_note]https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/04/standing-up-for-transsexual-rights[/efn_note].