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Raising awareness of transgender children

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Cora Sargeant

on 28 October 2015

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Transcript of Raising awareness of transgender children

1.2-1.5% - Of young people self-identify as transgender

39% of gender non-conforming boys (assigned male) and 30% of gender non-conforming girls (assigned female) suffer some form of abuse.

2/3 of children tell no-one before the age of 18.

Research has identified a severe lack of possibility models for transgender children in public life or the media.

Children learn that that they have cross-gender interests or identification at age 7 on average, but don't gain the language to describe their experiences until late adolescence.
Transgender adolescents are one of the groups at highest risk of self-harm and suicide.

Of transgender adolescents 17% have already attempted suicide and 41% will do so at some point in their lives.

This is not due only to the dysphoria itself but the risk of or actual rejection by their families and society.
Some points
between a person's
assigned gender
and their
gender identity
Gender identity and sexuality
This incongruence represents a
'normal developmental variation'
(Menvielle, 2012) and is no longer considered a mental illness.

The task of youth
authentic gender journey

'The development of children with cross-gender behaviours, interests, and characteristics is not to be interfered with... any more than with children who are conventional in their gender' (Ehrensaft, 2012)

These children and young people need to be given the freedom to express whatever gender they identify with at any given moment.

This might involve social (and later, medical) transition.
But things are changing
Gender identity was nearly incorporated into the PSHE curriculum

Transgender children included in OFSTED list of vulnerable groups

The number of children and young people presenting for treatment for gender dysphoria is increasing at a rate of 32% per year.

The problem is no longer seen as 'within child'
So what will we do?
What does it mean to be transgender?
Raising awareness of transgender and gender variant children and young people
Why now?
The number of transgender children
Their unmet need
A move away from a 'within-child' understanding
Directions of national policy
Our preparedness
Thank you for your participation.

Question time!

They remain invisible
They feel alone
They become distressed
John Money
Magnus Hirschfeld
Eddie Izzard
Cheryl Chase
Milton Diamond
Andrej Pejic
David Reimer
Gender identity is no more malleable than sexuality
Gender is diverse
Retreating from labels and supporting freedom of expression
Stav Strashko
Gender identity and sexual orientation are separate concepts, you cannot infer one from the other.
The authentic gender journey of transgender young people requires an adaptation of our basic philosophies of gender
Sexual dimorphism
Biological determinism
So what happens to transgender and gender variant children and young people?
What if I told you
Transgender people don't change gender
Creating an environment of culturally sanctioned bullying
The multiple forms of gender
Physical sex

Gender Identity

Gender Expression

Physiological sex is how your body is configured in relation to gendered anatomy. In our culture a person's assigned gender is contingent on this.
The bodily manifestation of gender
'The only thing that is consistent across all individuals with a given gender identity (such as “man”, or “woman”, amongst others), is the deep-seated sense of identification with that concept. The term rings true. It holds meaning. Something inside of us says “yes, that’s right. That makes sense. That feels like home. That is what I am.”
The internal sense of gender
Gender identity is who we are. Gender expression is how we choose, or how we need, to express that.
The personal and social performance of gender
Sexuality is largely unrelated to gender identity. You cannot infer one from the other.
The gender(s) to which you are sexually attracted
Raising awareness of transgender and gender variant children and young people
Full transcript