Scotland will be one of the easiest places in the world for teenagers to change gender
As well as lowering the age at which someone born, adopted or residing in Scotland can legally change their sex, the changes will remove any need for a medical diagnosis and significantly reduce the time a person must live in their ‘acquired sex’. “.
Feminist critics have warned that the proposals, which would allow men to change their legally recognized gender through affirmation, will erode women’s rights and are open to abuse by sexual predators.
JK Rowling, the Harry Potter author who lives in Edinburgh, warned over the weekend that the Prime Minister’s proposed changes would “harm the most vulnerable women in society”.
She also described as “amazing” a claim by Ms Robison, a close ally and friend of Ms Sturgeon, that male predators “never had to pretend to be anything else” to abuse women.
Ms Robison said she had reached a “finely balanced” judgment to open the system to under-18s, arguing that they could already find a job, leave their homes and vote in Scottish elections.
“A positive impact on children’s rights”
The Scottish government has claimed that the changes will have a ‘positive impact on children’s rights’ and that there is no ‘strong evidence’ that other countries which have lowered the legal age have suffered a ‘negative impact’. “.
However, all countries except Norway have stricter safeguards than those offered in Scotland, where there would be no formal difference between 16 and 17 year olds changing gender and an adult. .
In Ireland, where a self-identification system has been in place since 2015, a court order, parental consent and two medical reports are required before a 16 or 17 year old can legally change their sex.
In Belgium, Malta, the Australian capital Canberra and the Canadian province of British Columbia, parental consent is required. In France and Chile, a court decision is required. In New Zealand, a limited number of young people aged 16 and 17 can apply and applicants must have undergone medical treatment.