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The Risks to Children from Safe Schools

Professor Patrick Parkinson addresses the Safe Schools program at the Religious Freedom in an Age of Equality Conference held in Melbourne on 23 September 2016.

Listen to his talk here

  • The Safe Schools program claims to be based upon research, and various statistics are cited in its publications. Those statistics bear little relationship to any reliable scientific evidence.
  • While some adolescents who identify as same-sex attracted will go on to have a same-sex orientation in adulthood, a lot of girls in particular go on to lead mainly heterosexual lives. This needs to be explained to young people as well.
  • Most children and young people who experience gender dysphoria (i.e. think they are ‘transgender’) are able to resolve these feelings with therapeutic assistance and live healthy adult lives, accepting the gender of their birth.
  • Conversely, gender reassignment surgery involves the loss of genitalia and reproductive capacity and does not resolve the distress of some people with gender dysphoria
  • Encouraging children and young people to think that their gender is what they believe it to be puts them at great risk of harm. Instead, they need to be offered treatment and guidance to resolve their feelings of gender confusion.  
  • As a society, we need a serious conversation involving paediatricians, child psychiatrists and other professionals about how to assist children who experience gender dysphoria and about what it is responsible to tell children and young people in schools.

The full research paper can be accessed here

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