Education

Schools, colleges and universities often feel like they are on the front line of a culture war.

With rising numbers of gender-questioning kids, teachers and support staff find the issue of gender taking up more and more of their time. Yet, while staff rightly wish to respect students exploring their identities, they also rightly wish to protect other groups – such as girls and young women, who have a legitimate expectation of single-sex provisions.

It can often feel like schools and higher education institutions are “damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.” But we believe that gender-questioning kids can be respected without staff giving away their authority, or compromising the well-being of other groups.

Our guidance and resources can help you strike the balance.

As well as providing free support that you may find useful, Genspect also provides training sessions for educational establishments. Click the link below to find out more.

Genspect Brief Guidance

Our Genspect Brief Guidance for educational establishments seeks to provide practical answers to the questions teachers, lecturers and counsellors are asking. How should we respond to demands to change names and pronouns? What about changing rooms and sports facilities? How should schools accommodate parents in decision-making processes?

As well as providing guidance for establishments themselves, we also offer advice on social transition – the changing of names, pronouns, and other aspects of the self in line with a new gender identity. These recommendations are all made in consultation with a range of different groups, including professionals, parents, and people who have undergone transition themselves.

Share our ethos? Then join us!

Growing numbers of teachers are wondering about how best to approach the gender topic in classrooms. They’re also asking how they can ensure that parents don’t get excluded from important decisions about their kids’ futures.

By joining us, you’ll receive email updates, and advance notice of any upcoming events. You’ll also have the chance to subscribe to our online Community Forum, where you can meet people from all walks of life who share your outlook.

Most importantly, you’ll be showing the world that the education sector is not a monolith when it comes to provisions for gender-questioning kids. With your help, we can continue to build a global community centred on a rational approach to gender issues.

Also, be sure to follow us on social media: we’re available on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Resources

We’ve created a range of resources you may find useful, whether in the classroom setting itself, or to provide you with deeper perspective on gender issues in today’s climate.

Introducing… the Gender Giraffes!

You may already have heard of the Gender Unicorn, or the Genderbread Person. Well, here’s our answer! We want young kids to learn about the basics – without teaching the ideology of gender identity theory.

Also available in French and German. Click here to see all our infographics.

Visit Stats for Gender

Genspect created Stats for Gender to give you the real facts on gender issues. Busy, working professionals cannot be expected to trawl through academic papers to find the relevant data points: Stats for Gender collects the need-to-know information in one handy portal.

Keep up with the terminology

The ever-shifting language of gender identity can be hard to keep up with. In many cases, words and phrases can seem like “poison pills”, deliberately engineered to favour a highly ideological view of gender and identity. Our Glossary lists the terms you need to know, so you don’t get caught off-guard.

Listen to Gender: A Wider Lens

Co-hosted by Genspect Director Stella O’Malley and Genspect Advisor Sasha Ayad, Gender: A Wider Lens provides a series of thoughtful interviews which will add depth to your perspective on transgender identities. With many dozens of different voices, the Wider Lens podcast offers new ways of thinking about gender issues.

Recommended documentaries

As the world around us shifts, content-makers are noticing – and responding. Each of the documentaries we recommend provides its own unique view of what is happening to today’s adolescents.

Books we recommend

From Abigail Shrier and Debra Soh to Kathleen Stock and Helen Joyce, we’ve curated a small library of recommended books which we believe can elucidate this complex topic. We also recommend a couple of kids’ books, bringing a positive message about bodily self-acceptance.

Selected articles and papers

Our list of written resources ranges from key peer-reviewed papers to media articles and self-help sections – plus a couple of our own resources, too.

See what laws apply in your area

Genspect has an ongoing project to map the laws which apply in your country or state. Our Local Laws Project spells out the key pieces of legislation which could affect the services and provisions your employer is required to offer.

Don’t forget the D!

With so much focus placed on trans issues, there’s one group that often gets overlooked: detransitioners. Yet the number of people in this marginalised group is growing. To make sure there are proper provisions for detrans people, we want to encourage schools, colleges and universities to “include the D in the acronym”.

To hear more about the experiences of detrans people, as well as those who are ambivalent or disenchanted with their own transition, click here to check out Genspect’s Beyond Transition project. You’ll be able to watch clips from our #DetransAwarenessDay conference, and consult resources that can assist you in improving the pastoral care you provide to this emerging community.

The parents’ perspective

It should only be in very extreme cases that parents are excluded from decision-making processes regarding their own children – and these extreme cases typically include the involvement of external agencies, such as social services or the courts.

Most parents are loving and engaged, and wish the best for their kids over the course of their lifetimes. We believe it is highly inappropriate to cut these parents out of the loop when it comes to the issue of gender. 

In particular, socially transitioning children (for example, by changing names and pronouns) is a powerful psychotherapeutic intervention that teachers are simply not qualified to administer. This should not be undertaken without appropriate supervision; nor should it ever be done behind parents’ backs.

We believe that parents are wrongly being sidelined in their own kids’ lives, and that schools ought to adopt a more collegiate approach to communicating with families. Please take a moment to look over the resources below, which will give you a flavour of the loving and engaged parents we represent.

Genspect Unheard

Our sister website Genspect Unheard provides a space where parents can speak about how gender issues have impacted their families. We wanted to create a platform where mothers and fathers could talk candidly, in their own words, about the situation they and their kids are facing – and we believe these parents have a right to be heard.

Parent stories

You can also read testimonies from parents around the world who have contacted Genspect. These powerful accounts demonstrate the need to include parents in decisions about their kids’ welfare, rather than consigning them to walk-on parts in their own family lives.

Genspect Training

More and more schools are incorporating gender issues into their curriculum. Often, the national regulatory picture requires schools to teach children about gender alongside other themes, such as sexuality, mental health, and bullying. Schools are also noticing the growing numbers of young people questioning their own gender, and they want to do the right thing. However, gender is often taught in such a way that centres gender ideology, pushing the notion that “we all have a gender identity”. 

Because Genspect believes that young people’s options should not be foreclosed, we provide tailored training programmes for schools, colleges and universities. Our programmes address both staff and students, according to your needs. The content is informed from a biopsychosocial perspective: we believe that it is important to acknowledge the development of identity over time. The topics we cover include:

  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Mental health
  • Internet use
  • Bullying
  • Unconscious bias
  • Social transition
  • Medical transition
  • The rights of the child
  • The rights of the parent
  • The role of the educator
  • The school community

We also provide practical advice and guidance on issues such as:

  • Names
  • Pronouns
  • Uniform
  • Counselling facilities
  • Changing rooms
  • Toilets
  • Sports
  • Residential stays

If you’d like to find out more about this service, please get in touch via the button below, telling us about your school and what kind of training you are interested in.

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