Miriam Cates, Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said the ‘clash’ between trans activists and gender critical feminists is an issue of ‘enormous significance’ to the rights and safety of women.
As a former biology teacher, Ms Cates admits that she was ‘slightly baffled’ when she first saw the argument and said that she ‘struggles’ to see how statements such as ‘only women have a cervix’ are anything other than scientific fact.
She said: “If we erode the very concept of women - for example by saying that trans women are women, or by denying the importance of biological sex - we erase the rights of women.
“I for one can’t stand by and let that happen.
“As a genetics graduate I can’t see why it’s controversial to say that sex is determined at conception - by which lucky sperm meets the egg - and that every single cell of your body contains those sex chromosomes for ever.
“That is not controversial, and I therefore assumed that this was a debate that would fizzle out.
“We need to recognise that as human beings we do not get to choose every aspect of our identity - whether that’s our sex, our nationality, our place of birth, or our family history.
“Identity is complex, but it is undeniably based on external and inherent factors as much as our own choices and preferences.
“It is not scientifically possible to change the sex we are assigned at conception.
“Yet trans activists have succeeded in campaigning for biological males who identify as female to be allowed into women’s sports, women’s hospital wards and women’s prisons, even when these trans women still have intact male genitalia.
“This is not acceptable, and presents a serious threat to women’s safety, as well as our sex-based rights.”