No ban on talk therapy for gender-distressed children in Queen’s Speech

A misguided campaign

It has been confirmed in the Queen’s Speech that the government intends to pursue a limited ban on “conversion therapy” aimed at practices intended to change sexual orientation but not to include in this therapy to resolve gender distress.

But the “ban” campaign continues to promote simplistic slogans about inclusion.

There is still a risk that gender identity is included in a ban through amendments made at the legislation stage. This would remove safeguards for gender-distressed children and intensify the culture of fear against therapists, teachers and parents questioning whether children who have become convinced that they are born in the wrong body might grow out of it if given space and time. 

Now is a great time to write to your MP to make sure they understand the complexity and are not swayed by simple slogans. 

Our report on the “ban” campaign highlights that:

  • It came out of nowhere. Organisations suddenly campaigning for an urgent ban on “conversion therapy” have barely mentioned the issue over the past ten years. 
  • It is based on fairy tales. Examples used to support the call for a ban on talking therapy to resolve gender distress include a case involving electrocution that is 50 years old, and simulations undertaken with actors for reality TV programmes. 
  • There is no solid research behind it. The government’s own commissioned research found no evidence of abhorrent conversion therapy in the UK. 
  • The ban campaign aims at “self-ID” by the back door. Banning self “conversion therapy” only became a target when legal self-ID failed. It aims to strengthen the idea that children are born in the wrong body and can self-identify their gender. 

Use our email tool to send your MP a copy of the Sex Matters report together with the interim report of the NHS Cass Review.