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Trans Healthcare Action Ireland calls for comprehensive modern primary-level sex education

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Trans Healthcare Action Ireland (THA) call for a fact based RSE curriculum that reflects the full diversity of sexuality, gender, and relationships. THA reject the assertion by the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association (CPSMA) that the introduction of gender identity issues into the primary school curriculum will cause division in primary schools.


Spokesperson Niamh Ní Féineadh said “with the repeal of the 8th amendment and the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the last decade, Ireland has thrown off a history of repression, and has show the world that it is an accepting and welcoming country. How we teach our children about relationships, identity and sexuality should reflect this.”


She continued “Some children are trans. Some parents are trans. These children deserve to see their families reflected in a comprehensive relationships and sexuality program, just like those from single parent families, blended families, and other LGBTQ+ families. Studies show that comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education leads to lower rates of teen pregnancy, lower rates of sexual abuse and healthier sexual relationships later in life.


We reject the CPSMA’s assertion that gender identity is a complex issue not suitable for primary school children. Primary school teachers are perfectly capable of constructing and building on knowledge at an age appropriate level - we do not introduce children to algebra in junior infants but rather give them age appropriate foundational understandings of mathematics.


A continuing Relationships and Sex Education should cover all areas of relationships and reproductive health: how bodies change through puberty, consent, contraception, abortion and a discussion of sexual and gender identity. Many LGBTQIA+ children begin to recognise they are different while still in primary school. Age appropriate discussions of these identities mean they understand what they are feeling and can access support if needed. It also ensures that staff and teachers are well-placed to intervene and prevent any bullying issues which may arise due to a child’s gender identity.


Trans Healthcare Action Ireland is a grass-roots organisation advocating for improvements in the provision of healthcare for all trans and gender-diverse individuals in Ireland.


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