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ScotPAG submission to Scottish Government on guidance for RSHP education in Scottish schools

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Here is the ScotPAG submission to the Scottish Government's draft Statutory Guidance on the delivery of Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood (RSHP) Education in Scottish Schools. Our answers are in BOLD


You can access the online consultation form here


Submitted to Delivery of relationships, sexual health and parenthood (RSHP) education in Scottish schools - draft statutory guidance

Submitted on 2023-11-21 11:31:57


Questions


  1. Is the draft introduction clear on the status and application of the guidance? NO


If you feel further additions are required, please add these to the text box below:


The guidance and the RSHP itself does not fully reflect the above principles because both promote gender ideology as fact. Both fail to incorporate a balanced approach which includes biological fact and alternative information regarding fact about biological sex. The guidance fails to includerepresentations from opposing organisations such as SEGM, Sex Matters, Transgender Trend and NICE which highlight the need for robust research evidence. These organizations highlight the fact that there is a dearth of research data about the outcomes of puberty blockers. These organizations also highlight that there is no agreed definition of 'trans' for children. The guidance and parts RSHP are not necessarily promoting practice which can be demonstrated as in the best interests of the child or young person. The guidance conflates sex and gender and defines neither, this inevitably causes confusion and will be unhelpful in educational establishments.


2. How clear is the purpose of the relationships, sexual health and parenthood (RHSP) education section? Unclear


If you feel further clarity is needed, please explain in the box below:


It would appear that the purpose of RSHP is to promote an unevidenced ideology which is potentially harmful to children, young people & families as it will mislead and cause confusion. The RSHP makes no attempt to present a consistently balanced approached based on good and robust research.


3. Is the guidance sufficiently clear in relation to the rights of parents and carers and is the process for withdrawing a pupil sufficiently clear?

Unclear

Unclear


If you feel further clarity is needed, please explain in the box below:


The fact that the RSHP and many of the resources are ideologically driven is posing parents with unhelpful challenges. Given gender ideology is being promoted throughout the curriculum, it will become much more difficult for parents to gauge consistently what is happening in their children's experiences. Also there is scope for significant variation between schools which makes it harder for parents to share experiences. Parents who do not agree that their children with the guidance will have a choice of withdrawing their children from all state education or to accept that the material facts of sex, and their own beliefs and values, will be contradicted and criticised. The Guidance omits sex and replaces it with “gender” and “gender identity “as if these were protected characteristics rather than sex , this is not the case.


4. How effective is the guidance in explaining the key issues of a whole school approach alongside a positive school ethos and culture are highlighted to teachers in delivering relationships, sexual health and parenthood education?

Not Effective


How does this help bring consistency to learning?:

Gender ideology is based on intersectionality and social justice. This ideology is divisive and will not be helpful in building a sense of community in. It will achieve the opposite....witness the increase of bullying behavior and conflicts that are already occurring in society as a result of this flawed ideology. Also there is no real understanding demonstrated in the guidance regarding how a positive ethos is built within a school and/or community in terms of building positive relationships, effective communication and reinforcing positive behavior. There is a lot of research on these social and societal aspects which has not been accessed.


In addition, there is little or no consideration about the impact of social media and social contagion on children and teenagers, particularly on peer groups and the teenage brain. There is a growing body of research which draws attention to the fact that many teenagers, especially teenagers with vulnerabilities such as ASD ADHD, LAC etc are especially drawn to gender ideological concepts. There is no consideration of a strategy regarding how to manage the negative impacts of social contagion and the general harms potentially caused by it to families and society as a whole.


5. Is the guidance sufficiently clear in supporting consent and healthy relationships having a greater focus in relationships, sexual health and parenthood education?

No


If you feel the guidance is not clear, what further additions are needed:


The key to healthy relationships is not to lie and not to promote an ideology that is built on false premises. The law in Scotland is clear that children under 16 years do not have capacity to consent to sexual activity. Until they are 18 years old, children and teenagers are offered legal of protection from adult abuse of positions of power to engage them in sexual relationships. In the Guidance consent seems to be discussed as a personal decision for the child or teenager.


6. Is the guidance sufficiently clear in ensuring faith and belief is accurately captured in relationships, sexual health and parenthood education?

No


If you feel the guidance is not clear, what further additions are needed:


The guidance here is entirely vague and meaningless.


7. Is the guidance sufficiently clear in ensuring gender inclusive language is used to deliver relationships, sexual health and parenthood education?

No


If you feel the guidance is not clear, what further additions are needed:


The guidance is clear and good in this instance but bears no relationship to the contents of RSHP where gender ideology is promoted and children are told there is such a concept as 'trans'. The RSHP includes cartoons and videos stating that children can be 'trans'. Given there is no clear definition of a 'trans' child, what does this mean? And why are young, primary aged children being told this? This is product placement and is suggesting to suggestible children that if you don't conform to stereotyped behavior for a girl or a boy that you could be 'trans'. this is harmful psychologically to children and their families. It has no basis in fact or is internationally recognized child development. The guidance conflates the terms sex and gender. This is unhelpful. The guidance presents a confusing picture about the meaning of identity. Sex is a physical fact. Children should be taught that they are either boys or they are girls. Gender is about the roles and behaviours ascribed to each sex in any society.


8. Is the guidance sufficiently clear in explaining and including VSC/DSD/intersex people in relationships, sexual health and parenthood education?

No


If you feel the guidance is not clear, what further additions are needed:


Primary aged children do not need to know this information. This information is about a tiny group of individuals who have specific medical conditions while continuing to be either male or female. It is an irrelevance to the education curriculum and presumably has been inserted to justify the spurious claims of lobbyists.


9. Is the guidance sufficiently clear in ensuring relationships, sexual health and parenthood education is lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusive?

No


If you feel the guidance is not clear, what further additions are needed:


The T needs to be removed as it is misleading to many children and teenagers who may be potentially gay. The guidance is inappropriate in that it is inaccurate eg its confusion of sex and gender and its promotion of “gender identity” as fact. The guidance could helpfully inform children about same -sex attraction, the law on marriage and on consent.


As stated previously, the increasing numbers of children, particularly girls, who are identifying as “transgender” is demonstrating a social media created phenomenon. But, it is also the case that the Scottish Government led support is resulting in many schools and teachers promoting this harmful, untrue ideology. Transgenderism has no place in teaching about same sex attraction, and same sex marriage. Children should be taught to discuss claims about gender identity using the skills of critical analysis. Gender ideology is unproven and unevidenced and should not be embedded throughout the curriculum.


10. Is the guidance sufficiently clear in explaining the requirement for pupils with additional support needs to have relationships, sexual health and parenthood education?

No


If you feel the guidance is not clear, what further additions are needed:


ASN youngsters are particularly vulnerable and suggestible. The promotion of gender ideology and the product placement of the idea of 'trans' is particularly inappropriate as far as they are concerned. The promotion of gender ideology and the product placement of the idea of 'trans' is particularly inappropriate for these children. There already is clear evidence that these children are over represented in child groups identifying as “trans”. Guidance to schools and education staff needs to take great care to AVOID suggesting to ASN youngsters that any social or emotional difficulties might be rooted in "identity" issues.


11. Does the guidance provide sufficient resources and signposts to support teachers in delivery of relationships, sexual health and parenthood education, if not, which resources do you think are missing?

Insufficient


What resources should not be included?:


The balance of resources is wrong eg Mermaids & LGBTYS are currently under investigation and it is questionable that they are, or should be, currently included. TIE & Stonewall have no expertise in child development and the psychological and physical impact of growing up. It is suspect that the guidance and the RSHP itself does not access well established research regarding educational practice in this area


What resources are missing?:


Sex Matters, Transgender Trend, Thoughtful Therapists etc. There are Psychological Services serving all local authorities. Why were they and why are they now not involved in the development and evaluation of these materials for children?


November 2023




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