NHS Formally Declares Sex a ‘Biological’ Reality

Britain’s top health authority is officially rejecting transgender ideology and declaring that biological sex is a reality, while “gender identity” isn’t. The U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) is revising its constitution to state, “We are defining sex as biological sex.” The proposed constitutional revisions stress a need for “respecting the biological differences between men and women,” further warning, “If these biological differences are not considered or respected, there is the potential for unintended adverse health consequences.”

Among other things, the constitutional revision will bar biological men who identify as women from accessing female-only wards, allow female patients to request other biological females for “intimate care,” and do away with terms such as “chestfeeding” and “birthing people.”

“We need to be making this robust case to refuse to wipe women out of the conversation,” Health Secretary Victoria Atkins stated, according to The Telegraph. “We have always been clear that sex matters and our services should respect that. By putting this in the NHS constitution we’re highlighting the importance of balancing the rights and needs of all patients to make a healthcare system that is faster, simpler and fairer for all.”

“The confusion between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in official policies like the NHS constitution is what has enabled women’s rights to be trampled over in the name of transgender identities,” explained Maya Forstater, co-founder and chief executive of the advocacy group Sex Matters. “Sex, of course, is a matter of biology, not identity, and it is welcome that the NHS is now spelling this out in relation to single-sex accommodation and intimate care.”

Last year, then-Health Secretary Steve Barclay announced similar plans to eliminate “wokery” in the NHS, including barring biological who identify as women from accessing female-only wards, doing away with terminology like “chestfeeding,” and restoring the word “woman” to NHS guidance on subjects like menopause and ovarian cancer. “We need a common-sense approach to sex and equality issues in the NHS,” Barclay said at the time. “It is vital that women’s voices are heard in the NHS and the privacy, dignity and safety of all patients are protected.”

The constitutional revisions are hardly the only changes the NHS is making in its approach to transgenderism. In March, NHS England formally banned the prescription of puberty blockers and hormone drugs to minors, announcing instead a focus on family therapy, individual child psychotherapy, parental support or counseling, and other forms of counseling and therapy. “Puberty blockers … are not available to children and young people for gender incongruence or gender dysphoria because there is not enough evidence of safety and clinical effectiveness,” NHS England announced. Last month, Scotland’s NHS offices followed suit, “pausing” the prescription of puberty blockers and hormone drugs to minors while health officials examine “evidence of safety and long-term impact for therapies.”

Many of the changes in how British healthcare practitioners approach transgenderism center around the publication of the Cass Review, an extensive four-year investigation led by renowned pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass into gender transition procedures for minors. The report found that there was “remarkably weak evidence” to recommend the use of puberty blockers and hormone drugs, there was “no evidence” that gender transition procedures prevented or reduced the risk of suicide, the majority of children diagnosed with gender dysphoria suffer from a host of often-neglected psychological co-morbidities, and serious research into the harms of gender transition procedures was impeded by “toxic” debate surrounding the topic. Additionally, the groundbreaking 400-page report found that gender transition procedures for children are largely based on biased and even low-quality research.

For example, the infamous Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic at Tavistock worked in close conjunction with transgender activist group Mermaids. In 2022, two years before her final report was due, Cass urgently recommended that the U.K. government shut down Tavistock’s GIDS clinic, based on concerns over an absence of child safeguarding and an excess of gender ideology guiding staff members’ decisions. Cass reported that staff and clinicians often rushed children as young as 10 years old onto puberty blocker and hormone drug regimens, sometimes after as few as three consultations. Ninety-six percent of child patients at Tavistock’s GIDS clinic were placed on puberty blockers and numerous whistleblowers reported that staff often diagnosed children with gender dysphoria while ignoring or neglecting other psychological conditions such as autism, anxiety, or depression.

In the wake of the Cass Review’s publication, a cohort of 16 unnamed clinical psychologists penned an open letter saying that they were “ashamed of the role psychology played in gender care” and of how psychologists “failed young people at Gender Identity Development Service clinics.” The clinicians called for “accountability for the managers and clinicians who pursued such unethical practice and caused avoidable harm to young people,” adding that “the role of our own profession should be fully examined.”

Numerous European countries have halted or placed stringent safeguards around gender transition procedures for minors. France, Sweden, Norway, and Finland have joined the U.K. in largely or entirely halting the prescription of puberty blockers and hormone drugs to children, warning that there is a lack of thorough research and study surrounding the safety and efficacy of gender transition procedures. Yet the U.S. still allows for gender transition procedures to be practiced on minors, earning the label of “outlier.”


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

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