Media Release 13 January 2021
A new poll has found increasing opposition to gender ideology being taught to children in schools, and increasing support for sex education in general to be opt-in, rather than the current status of opt-out. The poll also found support for a ban on the use of puberty blockers for young people.
In the poll of 1,000 New Zealanders surveyed last month by Curia Market Research, respondents were asked a number of questions around gender ideology and the new Relationship and Sexuality curriculum released by the Ministry of Education last year.
Only 16% think primary age children should be taught they can choose their gender and that it can be changed through hormone treatment and surgery if they want it to be, while three out of four (74%) say they shouldn’t. Opposition to gender ideology has grown significantly from a similar poll in 2019 where 54% said children should not be taught this, and 35% said they should.
52% think sex education should be opt in (a parent has to opt in for their child to receive them) and 36% opt out (compulsory unless a parent opts out in writing). Support for opt in has increased from 34% in a 2019 poll and down from 55% for opt-out.
51% support a ban on puberty blockers for under 16s and 28% disagree. Earlier this month, the British High Court banned the use of puberty blockers, which begin the gender transition process, for children under 16 as it deemed they were too young to consent.
22% of respondents think boys who identify as girls should be allowed automatic access to girls toilets and changing rooms and almost two in three (61%) disagree. A similar poll in 2019 found that 46% v 36% said that biological sex should trump gender identity.
26% of respondents think boys who identify as girls should be allowed automatic access to girls sports teams and 58% disagree. Opposition has increased from 39% in a similar poll in 2019, and support has decreased.
A majority 58% think parents should have the final say on what sex education is provided in a local school and 31% the Government.
“Parents have rightly been horrified at groups coming in to schools and undermining the role and values of families with sex education and gender identity resources targeted at children as young as five which fail to take into account the emotional and physical development of each child and the values of the family. We believe that the number of parents wanting the right to opt-in will actually be much bigger when offered the opportunity,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
In the new curriculum for primary age children, requirements include:
* “students should be addressed by their preferred name and pronouns”
* “schools need to ensure that students can access toilets and changing rooms that align with their gender identification… trans students should not be required to use the gender-neutral toilet rather than male or female toilets of their choice”
* “challenge sex norms – for example, the assumption that sex characteristics at birth are always male or female”
* “challenge homophobia, transphobia, sexism, gender binaries… interrogate the ongoing effects of colonisation”
* “labelling uniform items by gender is an exclusionary practice”
* “In Science, consider how biological sex has been constructed” (our emphasis added)
* “In Social Science, research the #MeToo movement”
“Many young people today are wondering if they were “born in the wrong body”, and transgender activists are pushing an agenda that insists the body should be remade to conform with feelings. As such, the transgender trend spreads a confusing message to all kids, including those who struggle to accept their sex. Regrettably, this trend is taking root in the school curriculum where these radical ideas are being indoctrinated into young people, often without the express permission or even knowledge of parents.”
“Primary age students are now being targeted with the confusing and dangerous message that changing sex is as easy as changing clothes, girls are discovering that biological boys have free access to their changing rooms, and the curriculum states that parents are able to be kept in the dark when their child has decided to identify as transgender during the school day.”
“But it seems evident that the majority of New Zealanders are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with this curriculum and agenda in schools. At the very least, parents should be given the option of whether their child is exposed to this ideology.”
“It’s also time that the Education and Health Ministries placed priority on scientific evidence and sound medical practice, rather than bowing to special interest groups pushing a radical agenda. Biology is not bigotry,” says Mr McCoskrie.
Family First is also calling on the Ministry of Health to ban puberty blockers for under 16s, and for sex education in schools to be opt-in, rather than opt-out.
The nationwide poll was carried out during December and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.