The BBC has been accused of trying to indoctrinate young children by telling them that fish can change gender.
CBeebies, its channel aimed at under-sevens, broadcast a segment about how some species can go from 'being a boy fish to a girl fish'.
The claim has provoked anger among campaigners who fear it was intended to normalise the controversial ideology at an early age and is inaccurate given that fish do not have a gender identity.
They are also suspicious about the timing of the CBeebies item after the British Museum highlighted fish that are 'protogynous hermaphrodites' to coincide with the start of Pride month. It comes after the BBC was criticised over a pre-watershed episode of Casualty last weekend in which a non-binary character discussed having 'top surgery'.
The Safe Schools Alliance, which is campaigning against inappropriate sex education lessons, said: 'CBeebies indoctrinating toddlers into the ideological concept of changing from a boy to a girl.
'BBC send in the clownfish for Pride month to target children and yet again fail in their safeguarding responsibility.'
Twitter user Sion Jones, who spotted the segment, said: 'The fact that there's clearly been a meeting where this was discussed in terms of trans but they've also tried to maintain the plausible deniability of 'it's just a fun fact about fish!' is extremely disappointing.'
As hermaphrodites, clownfish are born with both sets of reproductive organs and can change from male to female if the alpha female in their group dies. The minute-long clip, shown in-between programmes on the CBeebies channel on Sunday morning, featured puppet presenter Dodge T Dog in the studio.
He asked viewers: 'Would you like to learn something very cool about fish? You would? Listen to this - some fish can change from being a boy fish to a girl fish or from being a girl fish to a boy fish.'
As a video showed the orange and white fish made famous by Finding Nemo, he said; 'Let's look at the clownfish. Aren't they beautiful? They live in a big group and their leader is always a female fish. But if the group needs a new leader, that male fish can change into a female fish in order to become the leader.
'There's also a fish called the kobudai. And when the female reaches a certain age, over the period of a few months, he turns into a male fish. Wow.' He concluded: 'Not all fish can change gender but quite a few can. The world really is a wonderful place.'
Caroline Ffiske from Conservatives for Women told the Mail last night: 'The fact that the BBC is inserting this clownish narrative into children's programming during Pride Month is pernicious.
'Many of us are sadly very confident that the agenda is to confuse young children about their sex.'
A BBC spokesperson said: 'While this segment aired at the start of June, it was not produced specifically for Pride month. CBeebies ‘Everyone’s Welcome’ ethos supports inclusivity and we air segments on a range of related topics throughout the year.'
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