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UK: JK Rowling: Helping children change gender is medical scandal

Wednesday 29 March 2023, by siawi3

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]


JK Rowling: Helping children change gender is medical scandal

Harry Potter author says most people with gender dysphoria grow out of it

Alex Farber,
Media Correspondent

Wednesday March 29 2023, 12.01am BST,
The Times

Photo: JK Rowling said that those trying to question the practice had been intimidated and silenced. TAYLOR HILL/FILMMAGIC/GETTY IMAGES

JK Rowling has said that society’s openness to allowing young children to change gender represents “one of the worst medical scandals in a century”.

Rowling, 57, called for those responsible for helping children to transition to “follow the science” and said that virtually all studies showed the majority of individuals suffering from gender dysmorphia would grow out of it as they matured.

“If that’s the evidence, then why are we immediately putting children on a path to affirmative action,” she said.

“We are watching one of the worst medical scandals in a century. Those that should have known better — the medics and those who have unquestionably cheered this on — are creating a climate in which those trying to raise red flags have been intimidated and silenced.”

Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter novels, said that the percentage of young women seeking to change gender had increased dramatically. “Should we not be asking why that is happening?” she said.

She added that if time proved her views to be wrong, then no real harm would be done, whereas irrevocable damage was being done by life-changing medical procedures.

In the final episode of the seven-part podcast, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, she tackled the topics of gender-neutral lavatories, alt-right politics and the role of institutions.

Photo: Trans rights activists protesting outside a talk on gender identity in Portobello, Edinburgh this month . JEFF J MITCHELL/GETTY IMAGES

She raised fears that the taboo of people feeling confident to challenge a man entering a female lavatory was being “eroded”, pointing to a report in The Sunday Times that 88 per cent of sexual assaults take place in shared spaces.

“The men arguing that this isn’t a risk alarm me,” she said. “Do they not know what their fellow men do?”

Describing herself as left-leaning, she said that the “puritanical, judgmental and authoritarian” shift of her natural allies risked alienating large parts of society and particularly young men.

“The left is making a tremendous mistake in espousing this quasi-religious witch-hunting behaviour,” she said. “People will go to where they will be embraced and can make jokes that are accepted, even if it is full of poisonous ideas.”

She also took aim at publishing houses and educational institutions for failing to support a plurality of views in the debate.

“They are shutting down debate and freedom of thought and expression,” she said. “If we cannot look to those institutions, then we are in trouble.”