Gender changes for 8-year-olds? Scottish MP says we should ‘explore’ the options

By Thomas Brooke
4 Min Read

A member of the Scottish parliament has suggested the government should “explore processes” that could see children as young as eight be allowed to legally and independently change their own gender.

Maggie Chapman, a member of the Scottish Green Party, suggested in an interview with broadcaster LBC that the current reforms may not go far enough. Chapman is an ardent supporter of the Scottish government’s controversial gender reforms to make it easier for individuals to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) and effectively change their gender, .

Interviewer Tom Swarbrick quoted Chapman’s previous comments on the matter back to her, in which she said, “It would be appropriate and beneficial for children under 16 to have formal gender recognition.”

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“Is that to say that you would support, for example, an 8-year-old having their sex legally changed?” Swarbrick asked.

“I think, in the committee that scrutinized (Sturgeon’s gender reform) legislation, we heard from a wide range of trans people who knew well before they were 16 that they were trans, and we should be looking at processes where they can be recognized. That’s not to say we set an age at which it’s fine, there will need to be much wider discussions.”

Swarbrick clarified, “You’re thinking a child below the age of 16 would have their own decision about whether to change their sex legally?”

“Yes,” Chapman replied.

“So, in theory, an 8-year-old could do that?”

“I think, in principle, we should be exploring that,” Chapman confirmed.

The car-crash interview continued. Sensing an opportunity, Swarbrick asked, “Would you lower the voting age to 8?”

“I think we should actually look at how young people in general are treated across society,” Chapman replied.

“So, in Scotland, you would like to see 8-year-olds able to vote and legally change their sex?”

“That is not what I said, please do not twist my words,” the left-wing MP backtracked.

Previous comments made by the left-wing MP were then put to her in which she claimed that “sex is not binary and immutable,” i.e., unable to be changed. When asked by Swarbrick if she could point to an example of a human being changing their biological sex, Chapman argued that sex as taught in text books at school was a “gross oversimplification” of the reality.

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She claimed that looking at sex as binary is “far, far, far too simplistic.” She, however, failed to provide an example of anyone who has succeeded in changing their biological sex.

The Scottish government’s gender reform legislation was passed by the Scottish parliament last month and would make it far easier for people aged 16 or over to formally change their gender. The bill would remove the requirement of a doctor’s diagnosis of dysphoria in order to obtain a GRC, and would reduce the time an applicant must live in their preferred gender from two years to just three months.

The U.K. government announced on Monday its intention to block the bill from becoming law, using a constitutional mechanism included in the legislation that gave Scotland devolved powers back in 1998 for the first time.

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