#111 Stephanie Davies-Arai: Transgender Trend - harms of gender identity teaching, from classroom to clinic
Stephanie Davies-Arai is “interested in all things to do with communication.” She designed her own course & accompanying book Communicating with Kids, and is an expert trainer in schools for both teachers and students. She is a feminist, a mother, and campaigner against cultural messages that promote harmful social ‘norms’. Stephanie established Transgender Trend, which describes itself as “a group of parents and professionals concerned about the current trend to diagnose ‘gender non-conforming’ children as transgender.” She speaks and writes extensively on the transgendering of children. Transgender Trend’s website is a treasure trove of information, it includes comprehensive guides for schools, created in conjunction with teachers, child protection professionals, and lawyers. Stephanie’s work was shortlisted for the John Maddox Prize in 2018, which “recognises the work of individuals who promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so.” Recently, Transgender Trend intervened in the judicial review brought by Keira Bell and Mrs A against the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, questioning whether under-18s can give valid informed consent to puberty blockers and hormonal interventions for gender dysphoria.
In this podcast, Stephanie Davies-Arai reflects on how her expertise in communication and combating gender stereotypes relates to her work in analysing the harms of gender identity teaching for young people. She explains how feminism informs what she does at Transgender Trend, an organisation she set up to question the mainstream narratives. Stephanie outlines the relationship between the "social transitioning" of children and adolescents in schools and the "affirmation model" of medical practice in gender clinics, and how girls may be more profoundly affected by these ideas. She covers recent developments in the UK such as the Kiera Bell case, in which Stephanie provided evidence about how our cultural context is inextricably linked with questions of "gender" and medical decision-making.
Find out more about Stephanie here