The recently released advice by the Roman Catholics Bishops Conference in relation to how their schools should care for gender confused children is a major development in the debate on gender confusion, and the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute's recommendations. 

Starting from the basis of John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly”, the paper calls for schools to approach all students on the basis of a Christian anthropology. This is in two parts:

Firstly, a philosophical/scientific view:

“A human being’s sex is a physical, biological reality. Sex is how human beings’ bodies are organised with respect to reproductive function. Each person’s biological sex unfolds in the womb from conception onward as complex genetic and hormonal processes combine to give each person a unique set of male or female characteristics. Apart from rare cases of people born with a combination of both male and female biological characteristics, every human being is born either biologically male or biologically female” and:

Secondly, a theological view:

“... that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God, that they are created male and female, that human beings are ‘relational’ beings who are created for friendship with God and with others and that the complementarity of male and female is part of the goodness of creation. In the Christian vision, the human person is an essential part of the goodness of creation, and we are stewards of all that God gives us, from the smallest of creatures to the uniqueness of our own body.”

The paper calls for care and sensitivity in relation to all students, but from a position based in the above Christian anthropology. The paper says that the affirmation model of care for gender confused children is not supported by many clinicians and that,

“An increasing number of medical professionals support the Biopsychosocial model, which is less invasive and more closely aligned with a Catholic worldview, as it is a family centred, more holistic approach. In this model practitioners promote ongoing psychological support for the child or young person through engaging with families and thorough inquiry into family dynamics.”

The paper reveals one of the fundamental flaws in the TLRI report and its recommendations: namely the claim that the affirmation model is the Australian standard. This is not the case.

This massive error undermines the veracity of the TLRI Report, and its recommendations must be rejected.