Lord Robert Winston has said he fears he will be inundated with hate mail after backing a professor in the eye of a trans storm by saying people “can’t change sex”.
The biologist, who is professor of science and society at Imperial College London, warned Question Time host Fiona Bruce that producers would need to edit the program after he aired his views.
During a debate about universities’ ability to simultaneously promote free speech and protect their diverse student body, the discussion inevitably swung to Kathleen Stock – a professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex who has faced calls to be removed from her position amid accusations of transphobia.
Backing her academic colleague, Lord Winston said: “I’m about to say something that will mean you’ll probably want to edit the programme when I’ve finished.
“I will say this categorically – that you cannot change your sex, your sex actually is there in every single cell in the body you have a chromosomal sex you have genetic sex you have hormonal sex, you have all sorts of psychological brain sex, they’re all different.
“And we are very confused about this, unfortunately. And progressively it’s gotten into this argument that people will now accuse me of being transphobic.”
Challenged that others say people can change sex, the former Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University doubled down on his views.
He went on: “Well, unfortunately, you can’t say this publicly, but this is one of the big problems.
“People saying this on this programme undoubtedly will resolve in me getting a huge amount of hate mail – it always does.
“But I do think it’s a big issue about the attitudes.
“There are of course issues, which are important, about young people who are confused about their sex.