Panacea comment for Financial Advisers and Paraplanners
24 Jul 2017
Last year we noted some startling news that women having NHS funded sex changes were also being given NHS fertility treatment so they can have babies after they become men.
The next step in this odyssey seems to be that the transgendered woman (now to be legally recognised as a ‘man’) whose frozen eggs have been used to create a baby should be ‘legally recognised’ as the child’s father, rather than their mother.
Still with me?
So the direction of travel with this interesting journey seem to be requiring a compass reset with the statement from the Minister of Women and Equalities, Justin Greening MP, who said she wanted to cut the stigma faced by transpeople.
Government plans would see “adults choose their sex legally without the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria”.
“Men will be able to identify themselves as women – and women as men – and have their birth certificates change to record their new gender”
The world has come a long way from the ‘boomer years, light years in fact from my parents generation.
Lou Reeds iconic song is now very real life it would seem.
“Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she”
Suzanna Hopwood, a member of the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group, said: ‘The current system is demeaning and broken. But where is this brave new world thinking sending us?
We have schools setting policies for ‘transgender equality’ by way of gender-neutral uniforms and toilet provisions.
Southampton University’s Student union demanded that sanitary bins be installed in male toilets for transgender men who menstruate. Staff at a Swedish kindergarten were told not to refer to children as ‘him’ or ‘her’ to avoid stereotyping and TFL is doing away with referring to passengers on the tube as ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’.
Before anyone gets ‘offended on someone else’s behalf’, a serious question. How common is the non-binary gender in the UK? This being defined as a person whose “self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender”.
The Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES) estimates that barely 1% of the British population could be gender nonconforming to ‘some degree’. The numbers of trans boys and trans girls are about equal. That is some 640,000.
At the end of 2014, most reliable figures indicated that at least 0.4% of the UK population defined itself as non-binary when given a 3-way choice in terms of female, male or another description.
That’s about 256,000.
To accommodate the needs and rights of this very small societal group, there are three UK Gender Recognition Registers, not by gender choice but by region (England and Wales together, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and anyone with a UK birth certificate who is issued with a ‘Gender Recognition Certificate’ is entitled to a new birth or adoption certificate, which is recorded in one of those Gender Recognition Registers.
As of the end of June 2015, since the Gender Recognition Act 2004 came into force in April 2005:
- 4,631 new birth certificate applications have been received
- 3,999 full Gender Recognition Certificates have been issued by the GRP
- 183 interim Gender Recognition Certificates have been issued by the GRP (67% converted to full GRCs)
- 193 applications have been declined
- 110 applications are still pending
A survey found that 48% of ‘trans people’ under 26 had tried to commit suicide, 30% done so in the past year and 59% said they had at least considered doing so, presenting an interesting factor in life insurance underwriting?
So irrespective of any readers personal views on the matter, which will be a spectrum ranging from incredulity as to how such a very small percentage of the population has developed such a powerful, possibly disproportionate influence, to the deep concerns felt by many that those affected can live in a very dark and confused place needing help.
The issues for the financial services industry that arise from this could be considerable.
The gender directive had serious cost implications for all insurance products, seeing the costs of protection for women increase to the same level that men pay, despite life expectancy being so different.
How will a ‘transgender’ or ‘non-binary’ be underwritten when you can now decide your own gender or change it yourself or possibly even change it back?
Germaine Greer got in a lot of trouble last year when giving a lecture at Cardiff University. She said “Just because you lop off your penis and then wear a dress doesn’t make you a ******* woman,”.
She has a point- genetically and chemically.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is found in just about all-living things and is the main component contained within chromosomes. It is the carrier of the genetic code that identifies the unique, distinctive and very importantly, unchangeable human male and female characteristics meaning that if you are ‘Arthur’, ‘Martha’ or travelling in-between, the transgender DNA remains as the definitive marker that just cannot be changed.
What about transgender underwriting for Annuities, Healthcare, Critical Illness, clearly a potential problem, particularly if ‘parts’ have been added or taken away?
LV= explained that “our underwriters take into account someone’s current gender. So if someone is transgender that will not be an issue at all, there is no additional loading or special treatment.
The only issue would be if they’re still having treatment (which is the same as anyone undergoing medical or psychological treatment), so if they’re in counselling then mental illness might be excluded but this is a general thing not specific to transgender people”.
Royal London said that “We are happy to consider all applications for cover for people who are transgender.
Males and females will pay the same premium for insurance cover with Royal London, meaning that a customer can apply for cover as male or female depending upon their gender identity and not their biological sex.
If a customer has already had gender reassignment surgery and has made a full recovery with no complications, all covers including critical illness will be accepted at standard rates.
If the customer is due to undergo surgery, we will usually postpone cover until after the operation due to the potential medical and surgical complications, the same way we would for any customer awaiting any major surgery. But again, once a full recovery has been made with no adverse reactions to treatment received such as hormonal therapy, all covers including critical illness will be accepted at standard rate..
If the customer has any other medical history, this will be underwritten using our usual underwriting philosophy applied to all customers”.
Just’s view was that “ gender will make no difference to the price offered to the customer, as all rates are priced on a unisex basis. We offer customers the choice on how they are addressed.”
Male drivers pay more for car insurance than their female counterparts – despite strict gender equality laws – due to a loophole that lets firms charge more based on a person’s job.
But what about the European equality laws, these did not seem to factor in- the ‘Lola’ driver?
Will non-binary be built into robo-advice algorhytmns and proposal forms?
With all this in mind, Oxford City Council is to add on it’s official forms the gender-neutral option of “Mx” as it considers whether all title salutations should disappear.
Even traffic lights have not escaped being politically correctly re-engineered with the traditional green man sign replaced with LGBT symbols at fifty pedestrian crossings around the Trafalgar Square area in June 2016.
And, what about dressing for work?
The TUC is investigating gender-related problems associated with workplace dress codes and personal protective equipment (PPE). The probe follows reports of sexism related to work clothing, including stipulations to wear high heels, and the provision of ill-fitting PPE for women.
A survey by the union Prospect found just 29 per cent of women said their protective clothing was designed for females. The TUC wants to hear of examples of bad practice, but is also keen to hear examples of good agreements and policies on dress code.
And as for the USA, President Donald Trump has just announced that transgender people cannot serve in “any capacity” in the military.
For my generation and that of my parents, it is a “very mixed up, muddled up, shook up” world indeed as the country appears to being subjected to minority influenced, politically correct socio re-engineering to accommodate less than 1% of the population. Goodness knows at what cost.
The world of financial services industry is already fraught with confusions, challenges and conundrums. How will it keep pace?
“Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo…………….”
Holly Woodlawn, our story image, was the inspiration for Lou Reeds song. She passed away on December 6, 2015 at the age of 69.