Protecting children in 'gender critical' rhetoric and strategy: Regulating childhood for cisgender outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


While academic works on the ‘gender critical’ movement have generally focused on its advocacy and claims regarding womanhood and adult women, the movement also heavily targets children. This article contributes a case study of ‘gender critical’ activism around children in the United Kingdom, which is strongly committed to the belief that children cannot be ‘genuinely’ trans. Building on the argument that anti-trans movements seek to undermine the institutions that allow for trans people’s social existence as trans people, it demonstrates that ‘gender critical’ groups seek to intervene in the institutions that regulate childhood in order to inhibit trans children’s ability to both understand themselves and exist socially as trans children. This requires interventions targeting education, specifically for the removal of trans-inclusive guidance and teaching resources. However, it also requires interventions into the family and the recruitment of parents as ‘gender coaches’ best placed to encourage desistance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-114
Number of pages18
JournalDiGeSt Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2023


  • Childhood
  • Education
  • Gender critical
  • Moral panic
  • TERF
  • Trans children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Gender Studies
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Protecting children in 'gender critical' rhetoric and strategy: Regulating childhood for cisgender outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this