At the beginning of the next school year in mid-September, Spanish children aged six and under who’re enrolled in public schools will be taught that gender, rather than being an objective biological reality, is nothing more than a malleable social construct.
The Council of Ministers, the main collective decision-making body of the government’s executive branch, on Tuesday approved the new curriculum for Early Childhood Education which, for the first time, introduces content and evaluation recommendations for children six years old and under, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo reports.
For now, adoption of the new content and evaluation criteria will remain elective, meaning state-financed schools across Spain’s 17 autonomous communities will not be required by law to comply with the curriculum recommendations.
Despite having revised some of the proposed curricula that appeared in the initial draft submitted by the previous education minister, Isabel Celaá (PSOE), the government—ruled by a coalition of left-liberals and communists—kept in place several contentious phrases, including references to “the construction of gender” as well as the “discovery of sexuality.”
Thus, if public schools across Spain’s autonomous communities embrace and implement the government’s curricular suggestions, which at this point is a certainty given that leftists govern in 12 autonomous communities, children aged six and below will be taught that gender is non-binary and encouraged to explore their preferred ‘gender identity.’
Although still considered unacceptable to vast swaths of the Spanish electorate, the language in the approved curriculum is slightly less radical than the previous proposal. Under the former education minister’s proposed curriculum, ‘educators’ would have been told to actively “encourage the personal discovery of sexuality and the construction of gender through values of equality and non-stereotyped models.”
The stated purpose of the new curriculum for Early Childhood Education, now approved by Education Minister Pilar Alegría (PSOE), is to “progressively develop and lay the foundations that facilitate maximum development of each boy and each girl.” It will seek to teach children to achieve “personal autonomy” and to “develop a positive, balanced, and egalitarian image of themselves, free from sexist or discriminatory stereotypes.”
Disparate groups from across Spain’s political spectrum have lambasted the government’s new curriculum recommendations. Last fall, before the curriculum’s final approval, the Ministry of Education in the community of Madrid, headed by center-right politician Enrique Ossorio, stated it was “inappropriate” to teach gender theory children under the age of six.
For its part, the national-conservative VOX party sharply criticized the government’s move, with Rocío Monasterio, the party’s leader in Madrid, saying: “Our children are now defenseless against the gender laws of [Prime Minister] Sánchez.
Traditionally left-wing organizations such as Alianza Contra el Borrado de las Mujeres, a platform that represents a large collection of trans-exclusionary feminist groups which seeks to oppose the trivialization of womanhood, also slammed the government’s proposal.
Speaking on the issue, Tasia Aránguez, a professor in the Department of Philosophy of Law at the University of Granada and the organization’s spokeswoman, said it is “very dangerous for schools to feed the idea that children can be born in a wrong body.”
“It’s a false idea,” she added. “Dysphoria cannot and should not be romanticized. The human species has two sexes: females and males. The idea is spreading among minors that biological sex does not exist and that is unscientific.”
Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.