Professor Parkinson's Abstract and Conclusion make essential reading:Full paper available here: SSRN-id2839084.pdf Abstract"The Safe Schools program has attracted great controversy. On one end of the spectrum it is defended as an anti-bullying program. On the other end of the spectrum it is regarded as social engineering. It is important to have programs in schools that offer support for same-sex attracted youth, or those experiencing confusion about their gender identity, particularly those who do not have support at home. However, this particular program has some serious flaws.
"This paper seeks to draw attention to various problems in the Safe Schools materials which ought to be rectified if a program like this is to continue to be offered in schools.
"First, the materials present statistics on same-sex attraction and transgender prevalence that have no valid scientific basis.
Secondly, they present sexual orientation as fixed when for school-aged adolescents it is very volatile, and many same-sex attractions are transitory.
Thirdly, they present gender as fluid when for about 99.5% of the population, there is complete congruence between sexual characteristics and gender identity.
Fourthly, they promote gender transitioning without the need for any medical and psychological guidance and even without parental knowledge or consent.
Finally, they offer potentially misleading legal advice to teachers. While a program of this kind may offer benefits for some young people, there is reason to be concerned that it may cause harm to other young people who experience same-sex attraction or gender confusion. There is certainly a place for an anti-bullying program that addresses the issues with which the Safe Schools program is concerned, but this program needs to be rescued from its progenitors."
Conclusion:"It is unlikely that the concern about the Safe Schools program will go away. Without significant changes, the Safe Schools program risks conflict between school principals and teachers, and between schools and parents. Large ethnic communities are likely to become more vocal in their opposition. If parents knew that their school would assist their child to change gender identification at school without their knowledge and consent and without any expert medical or psychiatric involvement, the vast majority would, I expect, be extremely concerned. For the most part, politicians have defended the Safe Schools program because it is an anti-bullying program. If they continue to do so, without insisting on major reforms to it, they are likely to experience a severe political backlash in the more culturally diverse constituencies. Furthermore, the risk is that opposition to it will become so strong that eventually the baby will be thrown out with the bathwater and neither this program, or one like it, will continue to exist. That would be detrimental. In any school there will be students who are struggling with aspects of their psychosexual development.
"There is a need to support same-sex attracted youth, especially those who are unable to discuss these issues in their families. Many will not be same-sex attracted ten years later, but while they struggle with their sexual orientation, they need support and reliable information about same-sex attraction in the appropriate classes in the school curriculum. So it is with young people experiencing gender confusion. Expert professional help from those with the relevant medical or psychological expertise is essential. The program, or something like it, will no doubt do much good if it is brought back into the sensible centre. While a program of this kind may offer benefits for some young people, there is reason to be concerned that it may cause harm to other young people who experience same-sex attraction or gender confusion. This is not good enough for an educational resource. The Safe Schools program needs to be rescued from its progenitors."