The World Health Organization (WHO) is facing heavy backlash after it made known its controversial guidance about children’s gender and sexuality. The organization’s guidelines suggest that children as young as four and under should have access to sex education and “explore gender identities,” per the Daily Mail.

The report noted that the organization had put out a document that provided guidance to policymakers in Europe, suggesting that “sexuality education starts from birth,” which has drawn the ire of many across the continent.

One Twitter user shared a brief synopsis of what the WHO has said, posting: “The World Health Organization (WHO) has provoked a fierce backlash over its new guidance that encourages parents and teachers ‘explore’ adult themes with children ‘from birth.’ The new guidance pushes ‘sexuality for infants’ and calls on parents to ‘explore gender identities’ for their babies.”

Officials have apparently characterized the guide as a “framework for policy makers, educational and health authorities and specialists.” It continues by suggesting that children between four and six years old should be encouraged to “talk about sexual matters,” per the report.

The Telegraph reported that the WHO document has drawn severe disapproval from prominent people in the UK, including MPs and campaigners. The report goes on to mention that the WHO’s guidance notes that children aged four and under should be informed about masturbation and “enjoyment and pleasure when touching one’s own body.”

These guidelines apparently fall under what the WHO refers to as “minimal standards that need to be covered by sexuality education.” But the UK government has rejected the guidelines to be welcomed in Britain, with one government spokesperson saying: “The UK Government does not recognise this WHO guidance and we don’t agree with its recommendations. We have not distributed or promoted it to schools.”

“We offer our own guidance to help schools to teach children and young people about relationships and health.”

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