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Gender stereotyping is vital to protect our young children

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Splodge is a rapist. I regularly have to admonish our handsome Speckled Sussex rooster, who does not take No for an answer from his hens.
We have even witnessed him dragging a reluctant Fifi, the French salmon faverolle, from a low-hanging branch to … well, you know the rest.
Perhaps all human males were like that, once upon a Stone Age, but fortunately most of us have been socialised and domesticated.
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There’s a lot to be said for socialisation, in spite of the scorn poured on the idea in recent years. Most of us, most of the time, are simply happier jogging along within the confines of society’s expectations. The wonderful thing about living in the West is that you can step off the rails from time to time without becoming pariah.
But most men and women find it easier to be just that – men and women, despite the claims of journalists like Hadley Freeman who, writing in the Guardian last month, bemoaned “antiquated gender stereotypes”.
Of course Freeman is right to say that small children should be allowed to wear what they please. But anyone who has had children knows that they quite like to be confined by rules. Self-imposed rules can be a cosy blanket – from my habitual porridge in the morning to your fear of stepping on the lines in the pavement, and that’s fine.
But now a handful of mischievous people are trying to blur the lines in a way that will do very real harm to our children.
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It emerged this month that Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, in a school health needs assessment, asked ten and 11-year-olds whether they “feel the same inside” as the gender they were born with.
Enough people kicked back to force the NHS to drop that stupid question and adopt “a more targeted approach”. At ten, puberty hasn’t even begun to kick in, and gender is the last thing you really care about.
If anyone is guilty of sexual stereotyping, it’s those who are so focused on it. Plenty of grown males prefer to read a book rather than kick a ball; and plenty of real women would rather ride a bike than play with a doll.
Anyone who tells you that you can’t live happily along the spectrum and must set off down a road that leads, ultimately, to having surgery on your defining bits is no friend.
Gender dysphoria is real. A tiny percentage of people apparently feel a real mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity. We should have every sympathy with them. But, as Germaine Greer says, no amount of surgery will turn a man into a woman.
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I have known a handful of people who went through gender “realignment”, and can’t honestly say that it left them content and happy.
I would love to have been a 6ft 4in athlete with a square jaw, at whose feet women fell. Hi ho. It wasn’t to be. But that didn’t throw me into the arms of the surgeons.
Turning the spotlight on “gender reassignment” will only do harm to our children.

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Gender stereotyping is very useful. It takes a child who may be a bit confused by puberty and points him or her in the easiest direction, which is almost always the same direction as their mirror tells them.
Now all I need to do is to figure out a way to socialise Splodge.
Source: Devon live