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Opposition To Puberty Blockers & Gender Ideology For Children - Poll


  • 69% oppose gender ideology in primary schools, just 15% support
  • 62% support ban on puberty blockers for children, only 19% opposed
  • 53% support ban on gender affirmation treatment (puberty blockers, cross sex hormones & surgery for minors <18), 24% opposed
  • 53% want primary focus on mental health treatment, 10% want focus on blockers/hormones
  • 68% oppose taxpayers funding gender change surgery or hormone treatment, 16% support

A new poll just released has found strong support for a ban on puberty blockers, and also support for a ban on the use of ‘gender affirmation’ chemical & surgical treatment for under-18s.

In the poll of 1,000 New Zealanders commissioned by Family First and surveyed by Curia Market Research, respondents were asked a number of questions around gender ideology and the treatment of children who experience gender confusion.


Respondents were asked: The UK health service (the NHS) has stopped the use of puberty blockers, which begin the gender transition process, for children under 16 as it deemed they are too young to consent. Do you support or oppose a similar ban in New Zealand on the use of puberty blockers for young people 16 or younger?

Almost two out of three (62%) respondents support banning puberty blockers for children aged 16 or younger, with just 19% opposed. A further 19% were unsure or refused to say. Opposition to puberty blockers has grown since Dec 2020 when a similar poll showed 51% support for a ban and 28% opposition.

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The NHS now states “Puberty blockers (gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogues) 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.” Recent comparisons have found that the prescription of puberty blockers in New Zealand is “less controlled” and more than ten times as frequent in New Zealand than in the UK.

In July 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US issued a warning label about the risk of puberty blockers after six minors (ages 5-12) experienced severe symptoms. The minors, who were all biologically female, suffered from symptoms of “pseudotumor cerebri” (tumor-like masses in the brain), including visual disturbances (seeing bright lights that aren’t there), headache or vomiting, papilledema (swelling of the optic nerve), increased blood pressure, and abducens neuropathy (eye paralysis).


Respondents were also asked: Some people have proposed banning puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and physical sex-change surgeries for children under the age of 18 who identify as transgender. Would you support or oppose this kind of ban?

A majority (53%) of respondents support banning puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and physical sex-change surgeries for children under the age of 18m, with just 24% opposed. 23% were unsure or refused to say.


Respondents were asked: If a young person says they want to change their gender, should the treatment be primarily based on providing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, or should the treatment primarily focus on dealing with the gender dysphoria and any other underlying mental health issues.

A majority (53%) of respondents think treatment of young persons who want to change their gender should primarily focus on mental health treatment rather than chemical treatment. Only 10% support chemical treatment being the primary focus and 37% are unsure or refused to say.

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) is reviewing all transgender medical treatment in the wake of the CASS review which found such treatment is built on “weak evidence.” The landmark final report released by pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass is the result of a major independent review on children and gender identity commissioned by the NHS in 2020. Cass is a former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Dr Cass said “The reality is that we have no good evidence on the long-term outcomes of interventions to manage gender-related distress… The evidence we do have for gender medicine is built on “shaky foundations.” She also concluded: “Puberty blockers should no longer be prescribed to children except in the context of research due to these powerful drugs’ effects on brain development and bone health… Cross-sex hormones — estrogen and testosterone — should be prescribed to trans-identifying 16 and 17-year-olds only with an “extremely cautious” approach, and there should be a “clear clinical rationale” for not waiting until the teen is 18.”

The CASS review also said that “Young people facing gender-related distress had no significantly different levels of suicide risk to other young people with similar levels of complex presentations” and that there was “No evidence that gender-affirming treatment reduces suicide risk.”


The poll found that while there is disagreement as to whether gender identity and sexual orientation should be taught in primary schools, there is strong opposition to gender ideology being taught to young children.

Only 15% 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 two out of three (69%) say they shouldn’t. Opposition to gender ideology has grown significantly from a similar poll in 2018 where only 54% said children should not be taught this, and 35% said they should. In April 2014, it was evenly split at 42% for and against!

However, 44% of respondents support prohibiting teaching sexual issues at primary school, with 40% opposed. The difference is not statistically significant at the 95% confidence level.

“This polling confirms that New Zealanders are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the gender ideology curriculum and agenda being rammed down in some schools. It fails to take into account the emotional and physical development of each child and the values of the families, and the polling echoes the general public rejection of radical gender ideology being targeted at young children,” says Bob McCoskrie, CEO of Family First NZ.


The poll also asked: Do you think the taxpayers should fund surgery or hormone treatments for adults who wish to change their gender? Only 16% of respondents support taxpayers funding gender change surgery or hormone treatments, with 68% opposed.

Labour’s budget in 2022 included an additional $2.2 million for gender affirming care and $2.5 million to train GPs in advising trans youth. They had previously pledged $3 million over four years in their 2019 budget.

Family First is calling on the government and the Ministry of Health to pause the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and operations for minors while further research is undertaken.

“It's time we put first-do-no-harm medicine and credible research ahead of ideology and an agenda to push gender fluidity indoctrination. It’s time we had watchful waiting, therapy, and healing of the mind rather than chemicals, castration and confusion,” says Mr McCoskrie.

This latest poll was conducted by Curia Market Research Ltd for Family First. It is a random poll of 1,000 adult New Zealanders and is weighted to the overall adult population. It was conducted by phone (landlines and mobile) and online between 17 April and 21 April 2024, has a maximum margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

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