Renewed offensive on the school front
7 MINUTE READ
The Luke’s Journal editorial team is aware that this article has political implications and that, since publication, legislation may have changed nationally or in your state of residence and practice. Luke’s Journal advises that you contact your State chair if you have any questions or concerns regarding implications for your clinical practice.
An article by Western Sydney University academics Tania Ferfolja, Jacqueline Ullman and Lucy Hobbs, entitled ‘Parents’ perspectives on the inclusion of gender and sexuality diversity in K-12 schooling: results from an Australian national study’, published in the journal ‘Sex Education’1 in September 2021, is likely to represent a renewed offensive against the traditional belief that gender accords with chromosomes.
It proclaims the need to institutionalise the teaching of gender fluidity at all levels of education: all children should be made aware there is no binary difference between boys and girls; and change is possible.
The concept of there being only two genders must be confronted, according to the authors, because they ‘reinforce the idea … that mistreatment of people on the basis of their gender is thus legitimate and understandable’ and results in ‘negative ramifications for all members of the school community’. They argue the ‘normative discourse’ of two separate genders leads to a ‘culture of limitation’ reflected in ‘underlying racism, sexism, homophobia and cis-genderism that intersects with neoliberal, neoconservative and patriarchal discourses that subjugate, limit, and marginalise individuals who do not fit the dominant, normative personage: perpetuated as heterosexual, cisgender, white, middle class and male’.
“Regrettably, the authors do not provide any details of the mechanics of their educational creativity. What, exactly, will be propounded to children is undisclosed. Nevertheless, we are encouraged to trust them for they are teachers of teachers.”
It may be assumed the authors believe this litany of social evils will be reduced when children are taught from the earliest age that they may not be the boys or girls they were led to imagine and, if they wish, they could move from one state to the other. Using the language of Michel Foucault, whose philosophical scaffold is apparent in various publications of the authors, this liberating ‘discourse’ would lead to the creation of new ‘normative’ and desirable state of sexual liberation. Regrettably, the authors do not provide any details of the mechanics of their educational creativity. What, exactly, will be propounded to children is undisclosed. Nevertheless, we are encouraged to trust them for they are teachers of teachers.
Avoiding curricula details of sexuality, they concentrate on the uncontroversial proclamation of the need for children to be taught tolerance and to avoid bullying. Their importance would be propounded at all levels of education (as if such basics were being routinely neglected by parents and other teachers). ‘There will be no discrimination in public schools on the bases of colour, class, creed or professed identity’. What parent would disagree with that?
[In prior years, Ferfolja and Ullman delivered an opposing submission to the NSW Parliamentary consideration of the ‘Parental Rights 2020’ introduced by Mark Latham. That Bill sought to prohibit the ‘teaching of the ideology of gender fluidity to children in schools’, to require ‘schools at the beginning of each academic year to consult with parents about courses of study that will include teaching on core values’ and to ‘allow parents to withdraw students from instruction on core values where parents object to the particular teaching on these matters of parental primacy’.]2
‘Ground breaking research’
For the introduction of their ‘progressive’ programme into the established curricula of ‘Relationships and Sexuality Education’ (RSE), the authors sought the opinion of parents of children ‘attending a government (public school)’, presumably in Western Sydney. The basic question was, “Did parents perceive the need to extend RSE from its traditional foci on the sciences of anatomy, biology and microbiology to include study, at all levels, of ‘gender and sexual diversity’?” Details would confound the answer: a generic appeal for tolerance for confusion over identity is, of course, quite different from its promotion; and nowhere is it revealed what exactly would be taught at each level of schooling.
The authors sought to evaluate the opinion of parents of children in a school by means of a questionnaire distributed through ‘paid advertisements via social media’. Through statistical device, their replies would then be extrapolated ‘to produce nationally representative estimates’.
The conclusion of this (self-proclaimed) ‘timely, and groundbreaking… landmark’ research was that over ‘80% of parents supported the inclusion of gender and sexuality diversity-inclusive relationships and sexual health education topics across primary and secondary government schools’.
To this end, restrictive laws such as those that defunded the Safe School programmes (in which promotion of gender diversity was camouflaged in anti-bullying guise), would be abolished and ‘most teachers and pre-service teachers across all key learning areas would require targeted support and training.’
Another ‘landmark study’
Back in October 2018, the Victorian Labor government’s LGBTI task force, its Commissioners for Gender and Sexuality, Health Complaints and Mental Health, the Victorian Human Rights Law Centre and the Australian Research Centre in Sex Health and Society at La Trobe University (whence had arisen the Safe Schools Programmes), had released a research paper entitled, ‘Preventing Harm, Promoting Justice, Responding to LGBT Conversion Therapy in Australia’. Despite its conclusions being based on only fifteen self-selected, anonymous and unverified complaints received after widespread solicitation in LGBT precincts, the paper called for the Health Complaints Act to be strengthened and to consider ‘legislative and regulatory options to restrict the promotion and provision of conversion therapies and similar practices, including by faith communities and organisations and both registered and unregistered health practitioners’. The ‘research’ was more than successful. In January 2020, the Labor government of Queensland passed Health Amendments that would incarcerate anyone obstructing the ‘affirmation’ of anyone, including children, to a gender incongruent with chromosomes. The government cited the La Trobe ‘research’ as evidence.
“Despite its conclusions being based on only fifteen self-selected, anonymous and unverified complaints received after widespread solicitation in LGBT precincts, the paper called for the Health Complaints Act to be strengthened…”
In August 2020, the Labor/Green government of ACT, on the same ‘evidence’ enacted a Sexuality and Gender Identity Conversion Practices Bill 2020 with incarceration of up to 12 months for anyone obstructing ‘affirmation’. Then, in February 2021, the Andrews government in Victoria passed The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act which promised incarceration for up to ten years and tens of thousands of dollars in fines to anyone obstructing ‘affirmation’. Such obstruction would include professional counseling, psychotherapy and prayer.
If ‘landmark’ prohibition of psychotherapy for gender confused children can be based on 15 anonymous, self-selected, replies from a committed audience, imagine what weight will be given to the alleged approval for teaching about gender fluidity on the basis of replies from 2093 parents provided to the academics from Western Sydney University? That gender identity is fluid and unrelated to chromosomes threatens to be imposed at all levels of education, and given statistical extrapolation, in all states.
Those seeking to emphasise the ‘social contagion’ of gender confusion, the associated prevalence of mental disorder and family disruption, the positive results from psychotherapy, the experimental nature of ‘affirmation’, the brain altering negative results of hormonal treatment, the destructiveness of breast and genital surgery, and, finally, the end result of a higher rate of suicide in transgendered adults, will face increasingly ‘weaponised culture and law’ and the prospect of confinement to ‘moral concentration camps’.3
Is the warning of Brutus too late?
‘The enemy increaseth every day; We, at the height, are ready to decline.’4
Prof John Whitehall Professor John Whitehall is a Professor of Paediatrics at Western Sydney University and former National Chair of CMDFA. Since early 2016 he has closely followed the rising phenomenon of gender confusion in children and has warned, in a number of publications, that it bears features of a psychological ‘social contagion’ whose current hormonal and surgical ‘treatment’ lacks evidence for positive effect while ignoring the negative.
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- Jacqueline Ullman, Tania Ferfolja & Lucy Hobby (2021) Parents’ perspectives on the inclusion of gender and sexuality diversity in K-12 schooling: results from an Australian national study, Sex Education, DOI: 10.1080/14681811.2021.1949975.
- Augusto del Noce. Crisis of Modernity. McGill University Press. 2014. P 153.
- Shakespeare W. Julius Caesar. Lines 247-8.