The BBC Presents “I’m A Non-Binary Ten-Year-Old”

Despite the recent outcry over the Science Museum’s “What Sex Is My Brain?” exhibit, the BBC continues to relentlessly promote brain sex theory by another name, the latest example being “I’m a non-binary 10-year-old” on Radio 4 last week.

This show seriously presented the idea that a ‘girl’ brain is recognisable by ownership of a Barbie doll and a ‘bright pink bedroom’ and a ‘boy’ brain by the preference for ‘pirates, Iron Man, Wolverine and Peter Pan.’ Not only that, but that it is from observation of these preferences that we can divine whether a child is actually, in reality, a boy or a girl. A child who has a range of interests, including some from the gender ‘pink’ box and some from the gender ‘blue’ box, must therefore, we are told, be ‘non-binary’ which means that they are (actually, in reality) neither a boy or a girl.

There are some people who really do believe this and the BBC here presents their confused conflation of gender and sex and their belief in regressive outdated stereotypes as truth, without question or any critical examination. Here is the mother:

“We took it very seriously. Leo wanted to be “out.” Leo is definitely not a girl, Leo is more boy than girl but he’s not like a lot of transgender people, a male mind who happened to be born in a female body, he’s a non-binary mind who happened to be born in a female body.”

The programme presents this reaction from a parent as not only normal, but the right way to respond to a 10 year-old girl who says “I want to be a boy”:

  • ask the girl what boy’s name she would like
  • ask her whether she would be a gay man or a straight man
  • ask the child every morning “are you a girl or a boy today?”
  • go and do some online research from ‘hundreds” of transgender sites
  • share this ‘research’ with the daughter until she believes that she is literally neither a girl or a boy
  • introduce the idea of puberty blockers and hormones

Since when did children’s toy choices literally change a child into the opposite sex, whose body then needs to be medically altered to reflect that? And when did it become seen as good parenting to teach a child an ideology which will lead to that medicalisation, to the extent that we celebrate those parents on national radio?

The BBC is promoting the idea that the categories ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ are actually defined by stereotypes of behaviour and interests and not by male and female biology, and that those children who don’t fit the stereotypes need to be be set on a path towards sterilisation and lifelong medication.

This particular 10 year-old girl now believes this:

“No, I’m not a boy or a girl. I’m non-binary, so I’m in the middle. There isn’t a body of the two genders. I just wish there was some way in the middle. But I don’t think there is.”

There is no such thing as a ‘body of the two genders’ because gender is a social idea of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ and, as we all have a mixture of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ traits, everyone is non-binary. What this child really means is a body of two sexes, which does exist but only if you have a rare genetic disorder which makes you biologically intersex. Nobody has taught this young girl the difference between gender and sex, that she is female and that she can have any preferences she wants; that her interests do not make her male. The BBC sees fit to celebrate the resulting confusion of an extremely bright and articulate young girl.

The most upsetting and inevitable conclusion drawn by a girl who is taught that her interests make her body, is that that body will need to be changed. She is astute in her observation that it is her breasts which will cause the biggest problem later, as they are the most visible indication that she is female. The typical path for girls, of wearing damaging breast-binders followed by a double mastectomy, is laid out for her.

Why is the BBC promoting this?

What chance is there that this young girl will ‘change her mind’ when she has been so thoroughly indoctrinated into gender identity ideology from all the trusted adults in her life, including the teachers at her school? At what point did schools in the UK become gender faith schools, unable to resist this doctrine and teach children facts? And why are we allowing schools to reinforce a rigid orthodoxy based on gender stereotypes; weren’t we supposed to be challenging those?

The answer comes from the mother:

“The school need to understand that they have an obligation and that Leo has rights as a trans plus person.”

‘Gender reassignment’ is a protected category which also applies to children, so it cannot be challenged. ‘Sex’ is also a protected category, but we are doing nothing to protect biologically female children from this orthodoxy which is not only based on the gender stereotypes which have always disproportionately harmed girls, but creates a whole new way to damage them.

The BBC is complicit in encouraging parents to pathologise the normal behaviour of any child who deviates from prescriptive gender stereotypes, and as a public service broadcaster should not be presenting this damaging set of beliefs about children as fact. To uncritically present a programme about how a young girl is convinced by adults to believe that her body is ‘wrong’ and will need medical intervention to correct it is irresponsible beyond belief.

There’s another way of responding to a 10 year-old girl who tells you she thinks she might be a boy. It’s to simply say “No. You’re female, you’re a girl. You can have any interests you like, and don’t let anyone ever tell you that liking any of those things makes you a boy.”

You can complain to the BBC here.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Una Hodgkins

    I heard this programme as I was driving.
    Just after the title was announced there was a brief warning about “disturbing content”. This warning does not appear on the i-player recording.
    I wondered whether this Leo was the same one as in the CBBC programme, but I don’t think so as his/her age is different (5 years younger) although the voice sounds the same.

    I was shocked to hear the mother say: “Every morning we ask Leo whether he is a boy or a girl today”….. What kind of mother would TRY to confuse their child in this way? I could never imagine myself asking my children that question. She just has not thought through the obvious consequences!

    I noticed that there seems to be an even more protected category than a simple “trangender” person, it is a “trans PLUS” person, which is the term the mother uses for “binary”. It became more and more obvious that the child was all at sea because her mother, who should have been filtering out nonsensical psychology, was instead mindlessly regurgitating the fashionable psychology which is all around us now.

    There was one more flagrant piece of misinformation at the end of the programme: for those who wanted to know more the recommended websites were…. Mermaids and GIRES. So that’s all you need to know, of course! Would those who complain to the BBC please suggest that Transgender Trend be on the recommended reading list for an opposing and more 360 degrees view?

    I want to report the progress of my complaint about the previous “I am Leo” programme which was shown on CBBC in March, repeated several times including, I am told, in August. I have submitted my complaint to the Trustees of the BBC, the final stage. It will be interesting to see whether they agree to examine and respond.

    1. Dave

      I suspect the Leo on Radio 4 had seen the CBBC ‘I am Leo’ documentary and was ‘inspired’ to use the same name.

      The BBC’s unquestioning support for the trans doctrine probably accounts for a significant increase in numbers of confused kids and referrals to clinics.

    2. Kirsten

      Out of curiosity, and to help with my complaint, on what grounds did you complain? I want to sound as logical and sensible as possible about such an emotive subject. Thanks

  2. Clare

    As a girl growing up in the 60s I played with a Cindy doll, dolls house and action man, wore a football strip, climbed trees, wanted my hair short and cried every time I had to wear a dress. I wanted to be a boy and declared my name was John. My Granny said that I was a ‘Tom boy’ and she had been the same when she was a child. That was it. I grew up, became a woman, married a man and had children.. The thought that if I had been born in the 21st century I would have had a ‘condition’ and adults would have encouraged me to consider hormone treatment and breast binding I find horrific. When I think why I was like I was it had much to do with the fact that I had a chauvinistic father and brother, and I felt to impress them I had to show I could be like a boy. Then I discovered feminism and realised I should like myself for being a girl.
    Poor little girl. She’s not transgender – she’s a normal girl with a range of interests. There’s a lot I don’t like about being a woman but the best bit has been having children. The thought that I may have been sterilised because I played with an action man, is if you think about it, barbaric. This is enough to terrify children into gender stereotyped behaviour.

  3. Heather Knight

    If my tween daughter told me she wanted to be a boy, I would tell her she can do anything boys do. I would get her a boy’s haircut, call her by a boy’s name at let her dress as a boy except for school. If she wanted to play rugby, climb mountains, work as a mechanic, or love another girl, I would support her goals. Most children with trans feelings grow up to be well adjusted straight or gay people. 10 isn’t old enough to make life changing decisions.

    I’m a lesbian who was married to a transman who was never happy.

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