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New Ministry Of Education Guidelines May Confuse Young People

Biology matters – sex & science

Feminist campaigners are concerned that the latest guidelines for Relationships & Sexuality Education misrepresent sex, sexuality, biology and science. “How extensively were women, especially young women, and their parents consulted on this?” asks Karolyn Is, a member of Women’s Liberation Aotearoa [WLA].

WLA point out that the new RSE guidelines claim they are replacing “outdated” or “Eurocentric” guidelines. “How extensively were wāhine Māori consulted in the community and on marae before finalising these guidelines?” asks Karolyn. “Was there wide consultation with Pasifika people?”

WLA argue that education should include the scientific evidence that human sex is dimorphic, set at conception, and lasts for life: this results in the significant development of either a male or a female reproductive system. “There is no other sex,” says Karolyn Is. “This is the bases for lesbian and gay same sex attraction.”

“Lesbians particularly have had a long struggle for visibility, and now, in some communities, young lesbians are being shamed if they don’t date trans women.”

The group note that in the guidelines important and necessary safeguards for young women, which are guaranteed under the Human Rights Act, have been removed with respect to intimate spaces.

“It is very important for children and young people to learn to be comfortable with, and accepting of, gender non-conformity: the diversity of ways individuals can be males or females. But this should not be done at the expense of sound biological and scientific evidence,” says Karolyn.


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