There is a dizzyingly rapid shift taking place across the Western World towards mixing the sexes in all cases. Architects are changing the way they are designing buildings, policy-makers are changing the way they word policies and providers are changing their provision, all without public consultation or consent.
1. Single sex means all participants are the same sex and separate from the opposite sex.
2. The inclusion of even just one member of the opposite sex, means that for the duration of their participation, single sex ceases and instead becomes unisex inclusion.
3. Campaigning for the right and freedom to choose single sex is not a campaign to end unisex inclusion for those who prefer and choose it. We support a range of options.
4. Where unisex inclusion exists, but numbers of willing participants are low, those who choose and prefer single sex provision must not be forced into unisex inclusion.
For the right to choose how we define our own boundaries, we need the option of single-sex facilities, services and accommodation for privacy, safety and dignity where we are vulnerable such as when are in states of undress, tending to matters of puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage, birth, breastfeeding, other matters of primary and secondary sex function and health, or tending to matters of excretory organs.
We also need the option single-sex facilities when we are asleep or unconscious, or where we are conducting personal care, grooming or medical procedures, or any other situation where we are vulnerable to voyeurism, exhibitionism, sex assault or impregnation. This includes hospital wards, prisons, changing rooms, gyms, baths, personal care assistance, conveniences, school trips and shared overnight accommodation.
We need the option to retreat from the opposite sex for same-sex support when we are being harassed, stalked, intimidated, threatened or are fleeing violence by a member of the opposite sex. This includes specific services such as Rape Crisis Centres and women's refuges as well as informal places such as women's conveniences.
We need the choice of single-sex spaces for sanctuary, privacy and recovery where we can be confident we will be free from potential harassment, voyeurism, intrusion, domination or embarrassment by the opposite sex. We need the choice of single-sex spaces which allow for open discussion of personal issues, private engagement in intimate activities, informal same-sex support for victims of sex-based violence or oppression and enable those of us in fear of the opposite sex, or those with cultural restrictions, greater social participation.
We need single-sex categories for fair competition in sports so that the clear advantages and disadvantages of chromosomal sex differences can be taken into account, enabling the increased participation of women and girls and avoid unnecessary severe injuries in contact sports.
We need opportunities for single-sex learning, education and development because some children and adults thrive more in single-sexed education and recreational activities. This includes single-sex schools, Girl Guides and women and girls in STEM subjects.
We need to be able to categorise by sex so we can monitor and address sex differences relevant to health, education, employment, salaries, political representation, births, deaths and crime, so we can tailor sex-specific provisions and redress inequality. This includes health planning, analysing specific patterns of offending and victimisation and all-women shortlists.
We can only exercise the right to choose when we have the category, the option and the provision for single sex.
Sex matters, it is not chosen and it cannot be changed.
Humans are a dimorphic species, meaning that we are born either male or female and human reproduction can only be achieved by the male and females gametes (sperm and ova) successfully uniting and growing in the womb and body of an adult female.
Being biologically male or female is determined by our sex chromosomes in our DNA within every cell of our body, shaping not just the reproductive system we are born with, but our bone structure, cardiovascular system and other biological factors, such as the risk of specific health problems.
Because the ‘blueprint’ of our sex chromosomes is in our DNA, our sex can be known through examining any of our cells, our blood, saliva, even our bones long after our death.
Rare chromosomal and gestational anomalies can cause some people to be born with ‘intersex’ conditions where the sex organs are ambiguous or not fully formed, which can compromise their reproductive capability.
These rare anomalies do not mean humans are not sexually dimorphic, just as rare anomalies in the development of the lower limbs do not mean humans are not a bipedal species.
Our biological sex was shaped by our chromosomes and DNA from our conception and it does not change from female to male or vice versa if our reproductive system is only partially functioning, or has been removed by surgery or lost by injury.
Our sex and reproductive organs are sexed. Female sex organs are the ovaries, uterus, vagina and vulva and the male sex organs are the testes, prostate, scrotum and penis, by definition, so there can be no such thing as a ‘female penis’ or a ‘male vagina’.
Hormone blockers, cross sex hormones and cosmetic surgery can change the appearance and specific functioning of the sex organs, but does not result in a person changing biological sex.