Gendered Intelligence responds to Mail on Sunday article

Today Gendered Intelligence’s work in primary schools was featured in the Mail on Sunday. We welcome the opportunity to share more about our work. We felt that on the whole the article featured our educational work positively and gave a strong voice to what we deem to be important work.

There are however some misconceptions in the article – mainly the alluding to Gendered Intelligence encouraging young people to become trans, which of course is not true.

To reiterate here what was in the article: ‘Gendered Intelligence delivers age-appropriate workshops and assemblies by working closely with the senior leadership teams of each of the schools that we work with’.

We want to pass on our enormous thanks for the support from the primary school that is featured and the head and assistant head that have supported us in this work all the way. We’d love to come and visit you again soon!  

The article focuses mainly on a short video that we created in 2005 as part of the No Outsiders work which was a large Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project which focused on LGBT equality in primary school settings.  We are also disappointed that the Mail on Sunday were not entirely transparent in ordering our video for the purpose of writing a piece on our work in schools.

The DVD is a great educational resource for teachers and other professionals and is available to order via our website.

Please read  a statement below from our director Jay Stewart:

It’s so important to teach children in schools that they can be anything that they want to be, regardless of the gender that they have been given at birth. They can be engineers, nurses and politicians; they can be caring and kind, strong and forthright; they can wear what they like and look how they like. It’s okay for all children to be girlish, boyish or anything in-between.

Our work at Gendered Intelligence includes going into primary school settings. It’s important because gender stereotyping and reinforcing gender norms start from a young age.

If we are going to tackle the prejudice in society towards those who express their gender differently from what is considered the norm, we need to introduce teaching early on in a person’s education. 

Some members of the general public might make assumptions about what is actually being taught when we go into primary schools.

Gendered Intelligence delivers age-appropriate workshops and assemblies by working closely with the senior leadership teams of each of the schools that we work with.

We are proud of this work. Feedback from students and staff has always been positive. There are amazing schools who have done incredible work to make sure they include trans pupils and staff.  We need to work towards implementing this good practice across the board. The Department for Education can play its part by ensuring that there is systemic change rather than ad-hoc good practice.

We need more open discussions and debates about gender diversity in schools as awareness grows in society. This is a crucial step in ending transphobic and gender related bullying. Young trans people suffer prejudice, and even violence, at school, college and university. In turn, they experience high levels of poor mental health. That’s why our campaigns such as Stop Our Silence are so important.

Trans people – like all people – have a right to an education in a safe environment. The only way to make school safe for trans pupils, and safe for everyone to express their gender, is to start talking about gender variance at the earliest possible opportunity.

Jay Stewart

Co-founder and Director

Genderedintelligence.co.uk


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