Gender: one word, six letters, and a revolution. The theory developed by John Money shook the scientific, moral, and psychological foundations of the human thought on sexuality. After years of research, he assumed that every individual can define his/her gender identity on the basis of the socio-cultural context and no longer according to a biological reality; people – according to the same doctrine – will be able to establish their own sex as easily as they choose what to wear. It does not consider, nonetheless, that psyche and body are not detached one from another, but live in a communion. Breaking the continuity between the two of them can produce dramatic consequences.
The problem is that those studies did not remain merely studies, but have transformed into an concrete educational project. Hiding between the folds of the bureaucratic terms of an administrative act, Gender Theory has reached schools, unleashed a media war and divided the country in supporters, opponents, and those who deny its very existence. The news is that not only parents and teachers have cried out their dissatisfaction; they have been joined in this battle also by the scientific; a slap in the face of all those people who think that Gender Theory is a battle carried on by a pious Church alone. This is the case of 18 psychologists from the Italian region Marche, who rebelled to the regional Order and to statement of their president, Luke Pierucci. The latter has said it very clearly: “There is no such thing as gender ideology” and, criticizing all those people who joined the protest in Roman square San Giovanni on June 20, has warned: “One cannot and must not use nor distort information based on research and scientific studies to make propaganda and to sow confusion”.
This is the reason why the group of professionals has drafted a note in which they take distance from Pierucci’s claims. Moreover, Pierucci has explained that the Order will continue to promote initiatives on that issue. Among the first signatories of the document there is the name of Paul Scapellato, a psychologist and a psychotherapist from Macerata and Professor of Clinical Psychology at the European University of Rome. The first important point that needs to be clarified about gender is whether it is a theory or an ideology: “A theory, says dr. Scapellato – is a system of knowledge relating to a particular aspect of existence which explains its nature and contours; generally a theory is grounded in basic axioms and its strength depends on the degree to which these axioms can be demonstrated. An ideology, on the other hand, is a general overview of more or less specific topics that are usually based on cultural expectations rather than scientific research”.
“Gender has a theoretical background consisting of the ‘Gender Studies’, and an ideological development”. It is precisely to the latter category that belong the famous projects on ‘sexual education’ that has arrived in Italian schools and which are supported by a document signed by the European office of the WHO entitled ‘Standard for sexual education in Europe’. The main problem is that behind some shared purposes, as the fight against discrimination and the so-called homophobic attitudes, can hide other goals, that are not declared nor in line with the scientific literature of the last century. “For example,” explains Scapellato – psychology of development and the practice of clinical psychology have always given prominence to children’s affective and sexual immaturity. Not having yet the mental and experiential categories typical to adult sexuality, they may suffer a significant psychological trauma if exposed to sexually explicit stimuli (this is the principle on which are based all the laws against paedophilia). In the document of the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, it is said that children, already at 4 years of age, are aware of their wishes and needs, that need to be explored. Obviously, this principle can be interpreted in many ways, but the practical tips that are provided leave little room for doubt: sexuality must be presented to children in all its ‘adultity’, providing lessons on homosexual and transsexual relations, abortion, alternative ways of producing life etc. progressively from 4 to 12 years”.
Finally, we need to consider another relevant aspect, that is the fact that it is “an attempt to level the classes on sexuality, without considering the different development rythms of the children”. Anticipating issues that are not yet a source of questions for those children, we can observe the separation between the affective and the sexual spheres, giving emphasis to physical relation at the expense of the sentiments’ development.
Several associations have worked those months in order to avoid the possible inclusion of some Gender guidelines in the “Good School” reform recently approved in the Parliament. An eventuality, that was bluntly denied yesterday by the Minister Stefania Giannini. “Those who have spoken and continue to speak of Gender ‘Theory’ in relation to the educational project of the Renzi government – she explained during the transmission “Melog”- perform a cultural scam and I want to state it clearly: we will protect it with all the necessary tools”. Right after arrived a reply from The Poster Pour Tous Italy. “To be free to educate our children this year, every school will become a trench” stated Filippo Savarese, spokesperson of an association that partakes in the organization of the Family Day on June 20. “The threats of the Minister Giannini are extremely serious: the Government threatens the citizens who criticize its laws and accuses of collective psychosis one million people who protested in Rome on June 20 – continued the press release -. School reform strengthens the presence of ideological activity in relation to gender identity in the study plan. We are organizing a national anti-Gender network that will connect the whole territory and involve thousands of families. We will be ready to defend our rights in all the Italian courts and in the streets and squares, if necessary, as it seems to be the case”. Indeed, it is striking that a minister intervenes in such a harsh way, not taking into account the legitimate concerns experts and parents have. The latter fear, indeed, that the correct anti homophobia measures will not have clear-cut boundaries, making it possible to spread teaching methods, that are in line with the Gender. Let us not forget that at stake in this game there is the future of our children, who risk to be involved, in spite of their own will, in an ideological project that could destroy every diversity and which threatens to erase human identity.