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Brits think gender boundaries should be a thing of the past

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23/11/2012
Gender has never mattered less to the British public, according to the latest report in the run-up to new EU gender-neutral rules.

According to the ‘UK caught in the gender blender’ report from Confused.com, almost three quarters of the nation are in favour of blurring boundaries of sexual identity from birth. 

Nine of 10 also believe that a person’s gender should not affect how they are treated in society. This view is shared across all demographics.

The EU Gender Directive will come into force on 21 December 2012.

The rules will mean that men and women will be treated identically when it comes to insurance, with no more gender-based discounts for women drivers. 

Cheaper life insurance for women will also become a thing of the past.

Matt Lloyd, head of life insurance from Confused.com, feels that losing gender as a risk factor for insurance is a step backwards: “Gender is a stable and useful long term indicator of risk which cannot be replaced easily when the new law comes into effect on 21 December 2012.

“Women definitely have the most to lose through the changes relating to life insurance.

“It is likely that life insurers will be looking for a similar solution to telematics in the future and that the individual, not the group, will be rated.”

Some countries in the EU have already taken steps to bring in gender equality, however some experts say that it has not always been successful.

 

Elise Claeson, who contributed to the Confused.com report, said: “Gender neutrality has been a disaster in Sweden.”

“Gender neutrality has caused an epidemic of relationship breakdowns, because we are sexually attracted to the opposite and yet we have spent years trying to make men and women the same.”

But neuroscientist Lise Eliot argues in the report that our ability to drive well, to talk about emotions, and to read maps, are not set in stone by our genes or our hormones.

Instead, we are programmed to be girls and boys by the words and actions of our parents and our friends.

“Kids rise or fall according to what we believe about them,” she says. “Pre-schoolers are already aware of what’s acceptable to their peers and what’s not.”

She continues: “There is little solid evidence in human studies of sex differences in children’s brains. The idea that girls’ brains are wired for communication and boys’ for aggression is simply a fallacy.”

“We still live in a clear two-gender culture. But rather than being something we are born with, our gender identity is set by the nurturing of our parents and the pressures of our peers.”

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