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Survey reveals just how out of touch the Tories are on sex education

‘Everything we know tells us attacking LGBT equality is a losing strategy’

New polling by YouGov has revealed just how out of step the government is when it comes to sex education and discussions around gender identity. 

It comes as the Tories announced plans this week to ban sex education for children before Year 5 and told schools not to teach about gender identity at all, in the UK government’s latest attack on the trans community.

Yet again it seems the Conservative’s have been motivated by culture wars and headline baiting rather than evidence or public opinion, as a new poll has found that the majority of Britons think sex education should teach that people can be transgender or non-binary. 

YouGov surveyed the public on a range of sex education topics from conversations about forced marriage to contraception. When asked whether schools should tell children that people can identify as a gender other than male or female, 60-61% of the British public said yes. While the number rises to 67% for parents with a child younger than 18, as the government prepares to ban the subject. 

School leaders have said there is no evidence of a widespread issue regarding current sex education content and teachers have warned that banning certain topics risks shutting down the conversation, with negative consequences for children. 

 The General Secretary of the National Education Union, Daniel Kebede slammed the Education Minister’s proposals as “yet more culture war noise from an ill-informed and out of touch government.”

Commenting on the survey results, Labour campaign group Momentum said: “Tory attempts to erase trans people from public life are driven by elite right-wing fearmongering, not the public.

“Labour should stand up to the Tories’ latest damaging & regressive attack on LGBT+ rights”.

One LGBT+ campaigner wrote on X: “This shameless and divisive government want to play culture wars for votes. Everything we know tells us attacking LGBT equality is a losing strategy.”

Another X user said: “Section 28 attempted to ban discussion of homosexuality in schools – but even in a pre-social media era, that did not stop children from learning that homosexuality existed. It only meant that teachers were unable to provide information or any support.”

(Image Credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

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