The Debate About Sex, Gender and Equality

Interview of Philosopher Kathleen Stock on the BBC’s “HARDtalk”. (23 minutes of your time.)

Stephen Sackur speaks to philosopher and author Kathleen Stock whose views on the immutability of biological sex and the limitations of gender self-identity have made her a hate figure for some transgender activists and supporters. Why has debate about sex, gender and identity become a culture war battleground?

Sex and identity are not the same thing.  And I honestly think, it's not just being rhetorical, most Transpeople know what sex they are.  Because sex is to do with chromosomes in the cells and the genitalia you were born with and the reproductive role that you have.  And you can artificially change those things but you haven't changed your basic state.

[18:32]. We need long term studies because you ask a child a year after they've started their journey whether they are happy, they may well be happy, but you know will they be happy at 25 will they be happy at 35?  Their prefrontal cortex hasn't fully grown in, you know.  So there are a lot of things still to happen that they may not be aware of, that they may not fully understand their own situation.

SS. (interviewer).   This is very personal to you.  You've been quite frank about your own journey.  You came out as gay, as lesbian, quite late in life after having been in a marriage and after having two children.  And you have since reflected on the fact that actually as a young person you did feel quite uncomfortable with the norms of femininity.

KS.  I think a lot of women do feel uncomfortable with the norms of femininity because they are so rigid and binary.  Probably men feel uncomfortable with norms of masculinity.

SS.  I'm wondering are you somebody who feels that if, as a young person, you had been offered the opportunity, the access to hormone treatments and other therapies, you might have taken them?

KS.  Well I might have done.  I'm sure I would have probably called myself non-binary, you know, if that had been available to me, I'm sure that would have resonated with me completely.

SS.  In a way do you see your life as a sort of message that actually it would have been wrong for you to receive treatment as an adolescent?  Can you be sure about that?

KS.  YES!  I mean you've got to be clear about what these drugs mean.  Like you know you are permanently rendered different.  You may be infertile.  I wouldn't have been able to have my children.  You know, asked at the age 12 do I want children?   I'm sure I would have said no.  I hadn't a clue of what I was talking about.  Why would children regret removing their breasts?  

This is a ridiculous kind of conversation because in every other domain it would be absolutely obvious that we wouldn't give these life changing medical alterations to children even if they said they wanted them because they don't fully understand the situation.  But in this particular area adults are cheering them on.  And that's a failure of adults.  It is not a failure of the children.  It is a failure of adults and the institutions that should be protecting these children.


Click on Image for full interview.

Kathleen Stock

One of the many books I’ve read on the subject in the last year. For the more philosophically inclined <grin>.

Other post about Philosopher Stock and her experience at the University of Sussex.


I’m a Classic Christian and regard Gender Ideology as anti-creational to the core. This blog is about “God’s Good Creation.” That’s why I’m writing about Gender Ideology. And “speaking up” as I’m confident Jesus would.

"Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female.'" [Matt 19:4]

If you would like more detail on how my Christian worldview informs my understanding of Sex and today’s Gender Ideology please read the following posts.

Love refuses to affirm confusion.