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Children young as 3 encouraged to question gender identity in book used in UK schools, nurseries

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Educate and Celebrate, an organization funded by the United Kingdom's Department of Education, is supplying children as young as 3 years old with books that are encouraging them to question their own gender identities.

What are the details?

The Sunday Times reported that one book in particular — "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?" penned by transgender activist Sarah Savage — is making the rounds in schools and nurseries.

A Goodreads description of the book says that the book "includes all forms of gender expression" as well as allowing "parents and children to begin to break down the barriers of gender and to talk about what different stereotypes and roles mean to them."

The book is about a male teddy bear who identifies as a female teddy bear.

Other books in the mix include "Jamie: A Transgender Cinderella Story," and "Gracefully Grayson," a book about being stuck in the wrong body.

What are people saying?

Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education and a critic of the literary selection, told the Sunday Times, "I do not question the intentions of the people using and promoting this material, but it is misguided. They are inflicting adult neuroses about gender onto children who are not interested in gender. Children do not have issues about their gender in 99.9 percent of cases."

"Adults need to stop thinking children see the world the way they do," McGovern added. "They do not. They may play at being a goblin one day, a dragon the next. They do not see the world in the way adults do and inflicting adult neuroses about gender onto children is damaging and cruel."

Elly Barnes, a music teacher who set up Educate and Celebrate, expressed her desire for schools to feature books with more diversity.

"The book collections we have sourced for schools are much needed to break the heteronormative model to reflect real-life families, which come in all different shapes and sizes,"  Barnes said, according to the Sunday Times.

"Our young people are not born racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic," Barnes added. "The problem lies with the grown-ups and giving them the confidence and the resources to be inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation — the books provide an accessible way for teachers to do this."

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