WHO says gender ‘exists on a continuum’ and not limited to male or female in new guidance

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it will update its “gender mainstreaming manual” to reflect its belief that gender is “beyond non-binary” and that it exists on a continuum, going against the historical understanding of biological sex.

The United Nations international health organization said “new scientific evidence and conceptual progress” on gender, health, and development necessitates a revision to the guidance manual originally published in 2011. That iteration asserted that multiple genders exist beyond male and female.

The new guidance will update “key concepts around gender” and examine how “gender power dynamics” intersect with other hierarchical rankings of privilege and disadvantage in ways that affect health outcomes.

The revision will move “beyond binary approaches to gender and health to recognize gender and sexual diversity, or the concepts that gender identity exists on a continuum and that sex is not limited to male or female,” according to the WHO website. It will also provide guidance on “new gender, equity and human rights frameworks and tools to further support capacity building around these concepts and the integration of their approaches in the work of WHO.”

Some health experts have expressed concern over the guidance, saying that, apart from denying the science of human biology, it is potentially hazardous to global health.

“It is a dismissal of basic biology – and [a] mistake,” Jenny Gamble, a professor in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at Coventry University, told the Daily Mail. “Biology is a key determinant of health and illness.”

Gamble argued that the new guidance will likely result in unintended consequences.  

“Not being clear about basic biology opens the door to a range of problems, including very poor health communication but also distorted data,” Gamble said.

A Rasmussen poll from late last year revealed that a majority of Americans disagree with the WHO’s claim on gender. According to the survey, 75% said they believe there are only two genders with 63% strongly agreeing. Only 18% of Americans responded saying they believed there were more than two.

The WHO has been widely criticized for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in dismissing China’s culpability as the source of the deadly contagion while repeatedly parroting false data coming out of Beijing. Former President Trump cited these grievances as the impetus to revoke the U.S.’s WHO membership in June 2020. President Biden rejoined shortly after taking office.

Republican lawmakers have called for limits on the organization’s authority. Last month, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) introduced legislation to permanently revoke U.S. memberships in the WHO and United Nations, saying that the U.N. has “repeatedly proven itself to be an utterly useless organization.” 

“The Charter of the United Nations states the U.N.’s mission to ‘reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small,’” Rogers said in a statement. “However, Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, has proven herself to be nothing more than a puppet for the Chinese Communist Party – aiding the CCP in playing down the very real and horrifying genocide being carried out against Uyghurs.”