A BBC television series in the U.K. aimed at children as young as 6 years old is being slammed as "completely inappropriate" by parents and some conservative politicians because it shows young children preparing to undergo a sex-change later in life by delaying puberty.
"It beggars belief that the BBC is making this program freely available to children as young as 6. I entirely share the anger of parents who just want to let children be children," said Peter Bone, a Conservative MP, according to The Telegraph.
"It is completely inappropriate for such material to be on the CBBC website and I shall be writing to BBC bosses to demand they take it down as soon as possible."
The program reportedly follows the life of a fictional 11-year-old boy who takes sex-change drugs, looking to slow down puberty and prepare for sex-change procedures later in life.
BBC defended its show by arguing that it is only seeking to portray the reality of some people's lives.
"'Just a Girl' is about a fictional transgender character trying to make sense of the world, dealing with bullying and workout how to keep her friends, which are universal themes that many children can relate to, and which has had a positive response from our audience," the BBC said in a statement about the controversial TV series.
"CBBC aims to reflect true life to our audience, providing content that mirrors the lives of as many U.K. children as possible," it added.
The website for the show describes the plot: "Amy has a secret and she's scared that it will come out at her new school. Follow her story as she tries to make sense of the world."
Several other conservatives have also spoken out against the show, however, with Maria Miller, the former culture secretary, arguing that struggles with gender should be addressed in a way "where children can have support from parents."
Norman Wells, a family campaigner, told the Mail on Sunday: "It is irresponsible of the BBC to introduce impressionable children as young as 6 to the idea that they can choose to be something other than their biological sex."
He continued: "The more we promote the idea that a boy can be born into a girl's body and a girl can be born into a boy's body, and that drugs and surgery can put things right, the more children will become utterly confused. Respecting and preserving a child's birth sex should be seen as a child protection issue."