- Sophie Grace Chappell part of team revising UK therapist’s ethical framework
- Some professionals have spoken of their fears over her involvement
- The Philosophy professor made controversial comments in 2021 radio interview
A transgender academic accused of saying it ‘would not matter’ if the number of female murders increased if men were allowed to self-identify as women has been put in charge of creating guidelines for therapists, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Philosophy professor Sophie Grace Chappell is on the core team revising the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s (BACP) national ethical framework.
But some therapists have spoken of their fears over her involvement because of comments she made in a 2021 radio interview rejecting feminist groups’ fears that controversial SNP plans to allow men to legally self identify as female without undergoing any medical procedures could put women at risk.
Campaigners said such laws could allow men with predatory intentions automatic access to female-only spaces by identifying as women. But Prof Chappell, who was born male and began living as a woman in 2014, told the BBC’s Kaye Adams that such fears were not based on real data.
She imagined a world in which gay people faced a process to be accepted as homosexual similar to trans people needing a gender recognition certificate to be acknowledged as a different sex.
Philosophy professor Sophie Grace Chappell is on the core team revising the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s (BACP) national ethical framework
Campaigners said such laws could allow men with predatory intentions automatic access to female-only spaces by identifying as women
James Esses, who was kicked off a psychotherapy course for his gender-critical views, said ‘It is extremely worrying’ to have a trans activist rewriting ethical guidance for therapists
If that was challenged, she said ‘people would say there’s going to be a crime wave or dreadful homosexual murders… it’s going to be awful if you do that. I think you’d rightly dismiss that as scaremongering. And you’d say no, look… It wouldn’t matter actually if there was a slight spike in those statistics. Because this isn’t about that kind of issue. It’s about human rights.’
Critics say Prof Chappell is suggesting any small rise in murders of women under self-ID laws is insignificant compared to the importance of trans rights.
And they fear she could, in her new role, introduce BACP guidelines restricting what therapists can say to clients.
One female counsellor said: ‘Prof Chappell is completely unsuitable to be deciding what form our ethical framework should take. I fear this person will insert gender ideology into our professional guidelines.’
James Esses, who was kicked off a psychotherapy course for his gender-critical views, said: ‘It is extremely worrying that a trans activist who dismisses concerns about women’s safety is rewriting ethical guidance for therapists.’
Last night Prof Chappell, who teaches at the Open University, said: ‘I have never said that violence against anyone does not matter. For any minority, civil rights do not vary with the crime statistics for that minority.
‘To use crimes committed by a few gay people as a weapon against the whole community would be utterly cynical. Likewise for the trans community.’
BACP said those reviewing its guidelines include experts ‘with a diverse range of knowledge, perspectives and experience’.