What a weird attitude we have to children today. We curtail their freedom when it comes to play and food and the rough-and-tumble of school life. We don’t let them run wild in the great outdoors, for fear they’ll be kidnapped or encounter some plant we’ve convinced ourselves they’re allergic to. Schools forbid their taste buds the rush of a sugary treat or the joy of salt on chips. We monitor like crazy their interactions with other kids lest any of them say a mean word or have some fisticuffs.

Yet when it comes to choosing their gender, to overhauling their entire identity, we say: “Go for it.”

This society that doesn’t trust children to ride a bike through woodland does trust them to decide what sex they are. To insist nature made a mistake. To assert that the doctor who said they were a boy or a girl was wrong.

That children are more mollycoddled than ever, yet entrusted with overthrowing centuries of reason on matters of sex, should make us suspicious about the trend for trans issues in schools. It self-identifies – to use the parlance – as a liberatory campaign, designed to unleash kids’ free-wheelin’ inner self. That would be more believable if the same “experts” who applaud as little Johnny becomes little Jenny weren’t also the kind of people keen to forbid Johnny/Jenny from playing conkers or eating cake.

No, the encouragement of trans confusion among schoolkids has nothing to do with freedom, and everything to do with relativism. It speaks not to any instinct among the young to throw off the alleged shackles of sex definitions, but to adults’ abdication of their responsibilities in relation to children’s identities and futures. To such a profound loss of focus in the adult world, especially in teaching, that some now find it difficult to say: “No, Connor, you may not go into the girls’ bathroom.”

Children need boundaries. It’s how they learn. Those boundaries can be physical: “Don’t step into the road.” Or moral: “It’s naughty to use bad language.” Or, very often, biological: “Boys don’t cry”, “Be a good girl”, “Who’s daddy’s princess?”

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