Evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins has signed a declaration that outlines numerous problems with the concept of “gender identity” on the grounds that it infringes on women’s rights and harms children experiencing gender dysphoria.
“Men who claim a female ’gender identity’ are being enabled to access opportunities and protections set aside for women,” says the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights. “This constitutes a form of discrimination against women, and endangers women’s fundamental rights to safety, dignity and equality.”
The declaration’s authors express dismay at how the idea of gender identity is being used against children, saying that the “use of puberty supressing drugs, cross-sex hormones, and surgery on children” are “harmful practices.”
Richard Dawkins Supports Declaration
“Please sign the Declaration on Women’s Sex-based Rights,” tweeted Richard Dawkins on Nov. 29. “I have just done so.”
Please sign the Declaration on Women’s Sex-based Rights. I have just done so.https://t.co/QmJ1uzNY3k
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) November 29, 2021
Dawkins is an emeritus fellow of Oxford University’s New College and has been a longtime critic of religion. He has described religious beliefs as a virus infecting the mind and has devoted a significant amount of energy throughout his career toward attempting to show that religion is not only foolish, but dangerous.
One of Dawkins’ best-known books is “The God Delusion,” which was published in 2006 and became an international best-seller. The description for the book on Amazon states that it “makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly.”
It is interesting, therefore, to see Dawkins aligning himself with some views that many Christians would agree with around the topics of sex and gender. The declaration Dawkins signed is a product of the Women’s Human Rights Campaign (WHRC), “a group of volunteer women from across the globe dedicated to protecting women’s sex-based rights.”
The declaration states that the rights of women are based in their biological sex, not their gender identity. Misconstruing the two, write the authors, leads to discrimination and violence against women: “We oppose all forms of discrimination against women and girls that result from replacing ‘sex’ with ‘gender identity’ in law, policy, and social practice.”
The document elaborates various ways that the rights of women are being infringed upon by the concept of gender identity. According to the authors, women are discriminated against when biological males pursue motherhood through surrogacy, participate in women’s sports, enjoy the societal protections offered to women, join women’s associations, and are allowed in domestic violence shelters. Furthermore, the authors say that women must not be discriminated against by being prevented from expressing their views on gender identity.
The declaration also takes a strong stand against children transitioning to another gender:
The concept of “gender identity” is increasingly used to “gender reassign” children who do not conform to sex stereotypes, or who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Medical interventions that carry a high risk of long-term adverse consequences on the physical or psychological health of a child, such as the use of puberty suppressing hormones, cross-sex hormones, and surgery, are used on children who are not developmentally competent to give full, free and informed consent. Such medical interventions can cause a range of permanent adverse physical health effects, including sterility, as well as negative effects on psychological health.