New Delhi, January 26: Over £500,000 of taxpayers’ money is being spent on helping health chiefs improve the treatment of ‘pregnant men’.
Many trans men – those born female but who now identify as male – do not undergo surgery to remove their female reproductive organs.
By retaining their womb and ovaries, some are still able to conceive and carry a child.
Researchers intend to study the ‘practices, experiences, and healthcare needs’ of men who may seek to, or become, pregnant and give birth after gender transition.
They say it will benefit the public by increasing awareness of the issue.
However, news of the study last night provoked a furious response from campaigners.
Stephanie Davies-Arai, of Transgender Trend, said: ‘It’s an absolute waste of public money, a misappropriation of public funds, not just because the research is worthless, but it’s harmful in the message it sends. Men cannot get pregnant.’
News of the funding comes at a time when there is fierce competition for grants to carry out medical research.
The £502,251 of taxpayers’ money comes from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of the Government-funded quango UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
Its website provides details of the project, led by Leeds University, under the heading Pregnant Men:
An International Exploration Of Trans Male Experiences And Practices Of Reproduction.
It says: ‘Many male transgender people (hereafter termed trans men) transition without undergoing surgery to remove their reproductive organs or reconstruct their genitals.’
‘Gender transition from female to male, then, does not necessarily take away the ability or, importantly, the desire to reproduce. The overall aim of this project is to gain an in-depth understanding of the practices, experiences, and healthcare needs of the growing number of men who may seek to, or become, pregnant and give birth after gender transition.’