We want to warn parents about a new sexuality programme which is being pushed under the banner of ‘anti-bullying’. The programme ‘Inside Out’ is funded by the Government, overseen by RainbowYouth, and aimed at children as young as year 7 (11 years and up). State broadcaster TVNZ has done a massive sales pitch for the programme with absolutely no analysis or balance as to the need or merits of the programme.
Bullying in schools is an important issue and must be tackled, but there are three big problems with programmes like Inside Out.
1. POLITICISING AND SEXUALISING OUR CHILDREN
Groups like Rainbow Youth and also political parties want to politicise and sexualise school children under the guise of bullying programmes rather than deal with the school bullying issue as it should be dealt with. Labour has said that it will make it mandatory for schools to report bullying in order to support ‘glbti’ youth in schools. And the Greens have published a report on bullying based on a small number of schools with the focus being only on what ‘the schools are doing to create a safe environment for young queer people in New Zealand’, using confusing terms such as ‘gender diversity’ and ‘trans identities’.
These polices are not inclusive, they are exclusive. They only focus on a very small group of students. This is not the best way to deal with bullying and mental health issues experienced by all school students.
The fact that the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Education are funding and pushing this agenda should concern all parents.
Many schools will not work with Rainbow Youth because of their reputation – and rightly so. READ our research paper.
Schools are keen to deal with the bullying issue but they are taking a full school community approach. The programme proposed here also ignores the far greater proportion of students who are bullied for the more common reasons of body image, racial background, disabilities, and academic success or failure. And of course the major prevalence of cyber-bullying.
In one large study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2003, the researchers found no increase in bullying of gay men compared to heterosexual men, whether at school or subsequently, whether verbally or physically. “Reports that gay and lesbian people are vulnerable to such experiences because of their sexuality are often taken at face value”, these researchers noted, with other studies failing to draw a comparison to heterosexual students.
Unfortunately overweight students, students with acne or a speech impediment or a physical disability, or who are struggling academically, or students from a different culture don’t have a ‘lobby group’. Their cause is not politically sexy enough. And depression and suicide are also associated with these types of bullying.
The focus is flawed. A large Australian study has called for a focus on the bully rather than the person being bullied. This is a more appropriate and effective approach. Bullies themselves often needed help, dealing with the causes of their depressive, aggressive and anti-social behaviours. Bullying by children is considered a stepping stone for criminal behaviours, increasing the risk of police contact when they become adults by more than half. Children who bully also increase their risk of later depression by 30% and require greater support for behaviour change through targeted approaches.
Parental involvement is key, but these programmes exclude parents from this process. That should concern all families.
While Rainbow Youth and many politicians are obsessed with so-called ‘homophobia’ and ‘transphobia’, schools and students and parents want the focus to be on all students who are bullied, for whatever reason, and who deserve support and protection. Anti-bullying programs that work place the focus on zero tolerance for any reason, and target the bully.
But what is most ironic in all of this is that any student that doesn’t buy in to the group-think that is expected and dictated, even if it doesn’t affect the way they relate with other students, will immediately be bullied themselves with terms such as ‘homophobic’, ‘transphobic’, and ‘bigoted.’
Getting rid of all bullying is obviously not the key message of these groups.
2. GENDER POLITICS
Our children are being indoctrinated with the message ‘Gender refers to how you identify, someone can identify as male, female, in between, both, or neither.’ And the PPTA has told secondary schools that ‘Gender identity refers to what a person thinks of as their own gender, whether they think of themselves as a man or as a woman, irrespective of their biological sex.’ Schools are being bullied by government and advocacy groups in to adopting policies around uniforms, toilets, changing rooms, and sports teams rather than heeding the warnings and research of leading scholars and clinicians.”
Among the implications of the proposals around so-called ‘gender’ issues in schools is that sex-specific facilities, including changing rooms, showers, toilets or sports teams may no longer be directed on the basis of a child’s actual biological sex. Students could pick the toilet or changing room or sports team or uniform of the gender with which they identify at that time. They give the opportunity, for example, for male students who pretend to be transgender an alibi to use girls’ toilets, showers, and changing rooms. But the expectation of parents and the children themselves is to see students of the same sex in places like changing rooms and showers.
The ‘gender agenda’ will simply lead to confusion in schools. Ignoring biology is not a proper solution. What children really need is affirmation of their unique personality and appropriate treatment for their unhappiness and other presenting emotional issues. Most children with gender dysphoria will not remain gender dysphoric after puberty. To push the gender agenda in schools is a dangerous step to take.
Our recent report on gender identity has warned parents and school leaders to be wary of the guidelines and policies being pushed in schools and communities, and that gender identity ideology is founded more on political ideology than it is in careful science and experience. This report explains how the issue is not as simple as many are making it out to be, and that there are many facts parents and community leaders must know about. The report “BOYS GIRLS OTHER – Making Sense of the Confusing New World of Gender Identity” draws from decades of mainstream academic and international research, and seeks to bring clarity to this topic and practical advice for schools, parents and community leaders, for the wellbeing of children.
The report says: “Even while realising these issues are very personal and deeply felt and how they must develop empathy within us, it is unwise to allow emotions – regardless of how deeply felt – to drive the decision and policy-making process related to such issues. We must take a sober understanding and appreciation of what the leading scholars and clinicians have to tell us on these issues. Their voices should be heard more clearly and strongly than the various advocacy groups of any stripe” particularly as they impact our children.
3. RESEARCH LONG ON BIAS, SHORT ON HARD DATA
The basis for these programmes is based on what we can only call ‘shonky’ research. The Ministry of Education recently funded a study “Educating for diversity: an evaluation of a sexuality diversity workshop to address secondary school bullying.” by researchers connected with RainbowYouth.
The research is long on bias and short on hard data, including the following pitfalls:
- non-random sample – targeted at just two schools that obviously support the agenda. One school who refused to be involved rightly said that parents would be concerned about the content.
- there is no control group
- the study looks at the impact on students immediately after a one hour session. No study of the long term effects
- conflict of interest – researchers contracted by and advisers to Rainbow Youth
- no peer review
- Non-representative sample. 68% of the students were of Pacific ethnicity yet, according to the most recent Census, represent 7.4% of the population.
- The students all self-reported with no exterior objective checks. And they know they are participating in a major pro-diversity study, immediately after a session of indoctrination!
This study is light years away from any kind of representative sample. This is what real researchers call “snowball and convenience samples.” That is like what a poor grad student would use.
So we have a non-longitudinal design, inadequate sample size, biased sample selection, and lack of proper controls, funded by the government, and being touted as evidence that ‘it works and it’s needed!’. Shocking. This is simply ‘advocacy’ research, designed for a specific outcome.
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?
We’ve written a summary of your legal rights HERE
But the bottom line is that you can withdraw your children from these sessions. Parents/caregivers may write to the principal requesting to have their child excluded from any particular element of sexuality education in a health education programme. The principal is required to ensure that the student is excluded from the relevant tuition and that the student is supervised during that time.
We hope this information helps you make an informed decision. Most schools will reject this material, but why not just make sure! Check whether your school Principal has read our report above. We can send you a copy.
Please pass on this important information to other families.